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Friday, April 30, 2010

Not Above Bribery

What does it take to get a three-year old to finish his cereal? Bribery. What will finally get your five-year old to stop sucking his thumb? Bribery. Parents are the mob, only our commodity is food and toys instead of blood money.

Sure, in the beginning I tried to adhere to what child psychologists and experts said about not using food for leverage but they've never had to deal with Samu - he's the three-year old. When Samu doesn't want to finish his food, he stores it in his mouth. Grrr-ROSS! He's kept food in his mouth for half an hour rather than swallow it. He's been doing it a lot less lately when I made him spit it out and re-eat it. Oh yes I did!

But breakfast was short on time, so I tried a different plan. I said, "Samu, if you finish your bowl of cereal, then I'll get you the box of donuts at the coffee shop."

"OKAY!" He said, happily.

He did finish his cereal - drank the milk and everything. As for the donuts, all I can say is, fucking Entemann's man - $4.69 for a box of sugar and flour? And ma' boy polished off his white donut in 42 seconds. I brought the rest of the box when I picked up big brother from After School and much to the dismay of their parents, all of kids were happy to shove a complete donut in their mouth.

Speaking of big brother, when he came home with a Sad Face on his Behavior Report for sucking his thumb, I decided to give him some incentive.

"As long as you suck your thumb, we won't be taking you to the movies and that's going to suck for you because "Iron Man 2" comes out next week."

He looked as if he just saw a puppy get run over - he was hysterical. It was when he tried to rip off his thumb that I told him that perhaps it would be easier if he just tried to stop stuffing it into his mouth.

That night, he was like a smack junkie going cold turkey. He was practically climbing the ceiling trying to get at his thumb. Finally he said to himself, "I wanna see Iron Man, I wanna see Iron Man."

The little man actually went to sleep without sucking his thumb.

Now, do I thank Iron Man or Robert Downey Jr.?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Library Banter

Working at home has it's distractions: food staring in my face, chores staring in my face, my mother staring in my face. So I got this bright idea to go to the local library to get some work done. Too bad every busybody with plenty of time on their hands had the same idea.

I thought libraries were supposed to be quiet. I mean the babies and kids that occasionally escape the Children's room into the reading area don't bother me. It's the non-stop chatter that goes on at the information desk that drives me insane. I can't get far enough away. It wouldn't make a difference anyway, because once I listen to a tale of geriatric misfortune, I am tempted to see what the fool looks like.

I feel like asking them how they could be seventy-two years old and make such a dumb mistake. Hasn't life taught them anything? Like, how to have a quiet conversation? Who puts off returning books for seven months simply because she was told she had to upgrade her library card to a new electronic one? I was ready for the old woman to say she couldn't pay the penalty because her money was tied up in her savings passbook.

But what did I expect? Books are old school. Nobody sits and reads an actual book anymore. Not with Kindles and movies butchering a story with their own interpretation. I should have known all the stubborn old folks who refuse to upgrade would be perusing the aisles and holding the librarian hostage with their senility.

The seven-month-overdue lady took twenty-five minutes to resolve her case. That's record time if you ask me. The librarian took the next customer, a tall, dark skinned man with white hair - probably in his sixties.

"Wow, you got some real talkers today, huh?" He tells the librarian.

"Well, you know th-"

"Some people just don't realize that this is a library and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..." He goes on for about five minutes about "inappropriate manners" in a library.


Needless to say, my 'working at the library' days are over. Besides, their Internet connection is slow and get this - for some websites that contain curse words, I have to go to the librarian and prove that I'm over eighteen to be granted access. WTF? I almost went up there and said that at full volume.

Would have loved to see the reaction to that from tall-dark-man-who-waited-too-long-to-log-on-the-library-computer-and-has-to-sign-up-and-wait-again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Scabies Kind Of Day

Doing housework, I feel like Hunter S. Thompson in Fear And Loathing. Out of the side of my mouth I curse the dregs I clean up after, utter a string of profanities and nervously check the clock to see how long it's taking. Every minute I am cleaning is a minute away from writing and there is just so much work piled up, it could constipate an elephant.

Naturally, the thirty minutes I allotted to vacuum the bedrooms went totally awry. Not only did it turn into an all morning event, it became a scabies kind of day. It all happened when I made the mistake of moving the bed in my husband's man cave. I discovered a colony of ants. Apparently, two peanuts that fell under the bed were serving as food central - an Ant Costco if you will.

Bugs get my nerves on edge - a lot of bugs send me through the roof.  Armed with my no-nonsense, trustworthy, workhorse of a Dyson, I vacuumed ferociously leaving no invader a chance to go home. The Hunter S. Thompson mode gave way to a more combative character. Say, Ripley in Aliens (2). Especially when I started cleaning the mudroom that led to the Man Cave where I found more ants, a cockroach carcass and a HUGE spider.

"Take that, you Bitch!" I yelled at every insect-looking-thing.

And then my Dyson jammed up. Yes, the manufacturer touts it doesn't happen with a Dyson but obviously they never dealt with kids socks before. The only option was to dump out the canister with all the invaders in it - possibly still alive. I decided to make it harder on myself and said, heck why not haul out all this junk in the mudroom too, while you're at it? So I did.

Eventually, this brought me into the garage, where some of this shit was to be stored and thus commenced a whole new level of my scabies kind of day. By the end, my clothes were covered in dust, dirt, squirrel shit, ant shit that I wanted to burn them with me still in them. Instead, I peeled them off in the mudroom, with the door open. Fuck what the neighbors thought - I was damn itchy.

After a Karen Silkwood shower, I washed my clothes in hot water, double rinse cycle. I'm still contemplating throwing them out altogether - that's how scarred I am. Tomorrow, I'm not cleaning shit.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The 40th Birthday Nuggy

Today is my husband's fortieth birthday. A lot is expected of someone turning forty - turning gray, getting fat. I have to say, I'm proud my husband did otherwise. No, he went bald years ago and has been consistently working out for the past seven months. Turning forty was a wake up call. It's getting a new lease on life - like a license to become Pee Wee Herman or Spongebob.

To celebrate, my husband took the day off from work. He was probably hoping to sleep late but our three-year old had other plans for Daddy. I asked Samu if he'd like to join me and walk his big brother to school, let Daddy sleep but he shook his head no.

"Then you're okay watching TV by yourself?" I asked him.

"No, I'm gonna wake up Daddy and make him watch TV with me."

He had a little demonic tone to his voice so I had to remind him that it was Daddy's birthday. "Be nice or else. You got me?" I told him.

"I got me." He answered.

I came back home to find my husband on the couch watching TV with Samu. "What is it with that kid?" He says pointing to the angel-faced Samu. "He just came up to my bed while I was sleeping and punched me in the nuts!"

Poor Daddy. His birthday was off to a painful start. I guess I didn't make things any better when I announced that after breakfast we had to take Samu back to the store where he stole two Charms Blowpops last week to make him apologize and pay for it.

At least Daddy had a little vindication for the morning assault when he saw his little assailant squirming in front of the store owner. Holding up the contraband, Samu whimpered out a barely audible apology.

"I'm sorry," he said with his chin tucked into his chest and his eyes looking upward, large and glassy with tears. He could have won an Oscar with that performance. Instead, the owner decided to let him have it.

Daddy intervened. If the kid was going to keep it, he must pay for it lest he never learn his lesson.

"Pay for it with the money Grammy gave you," Daddy commanded. So Samu pulled out a dollar from his pocket and stood on his tippy toes to place it on the counter. The owner gladly accepted it and gave him his change. Samu looked at his lollipop, ecstatic that they were legally united. He started to unwrap it.

"You can't eat that now!" Daddy yelled. Samu stopped dead in his tracks. He's told he has to wait until after lunch. Somehow I knew, at that moment Samu regretted having punched his dad in the groin earlier. Payback's a bitch.

By the time 11:30 am rolled around, Daddy cracked open a beer instead of having a second cup of coffee. I couldn't blame him. Besides, you're only forty once.

Happy birthday, love-of-my-life-pain-in-ass. Guess I should've bought you a jockstrap.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bright As An 80 Watt Bulb

Yesterday we received the results for the "Gifted And Talented" test my five-year-old took back in January. The test consists of the Otis-Lennon School Ability and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, which basically gauges how well your child listens and follows instructions. Having said that, I think it's no surprise that Zuki didn't qualify - the cheeky, little monkey.

I took comfort in the fact that Zuki's buddies took the test too and failed to qualify. We moms pounded fists in solidarity. Not that we had any delusions - if any of them passed, we would probably chalk it up to Divine Intervention. Of course, I would never tell my son that. He's got enough confidence issues having to deal with his dad's potty-mouth remarks. What kind of person taunts his five-year old son by calling him a "pussy"? And daddy wonders why the boys always punch him in the nuts. Good for them.

So, I let my son know how proud I was of him for taking the test without crapping his pants. I couldn't imagine having to take a test like that at his age (he took it last year, too). Of course, he didn't know what the heck I was talking about, which just makes me wonder if he even really scored 82 percent - how could he forget?

If nothing else, the fact that he took the test will somehow remain an experience for him. He's got a whole life of test-taking ahead of him and I know he's going to hit the nail on the head, one of these days - just like one of these days he's going to know what shoe goes on which foot.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Six Red Power Rangers

I'm afraid it was my bright idea to have four boys over for a movie playdate last Sunday. Unlike my husband, I survived with all my fingers intact and no new bruises although my ears are still ringing. What is it with boys and yelling louder than Billy Mays?

When I watch little girls play, I'm amazed how they understand hierarchy and fall right in.  Yes, at times I've seen some bitch slapping, backstabbing claws drawn cat fights but all in all, girls listen to the voice of reason. But in a pack of boys, everybody wants to be the "good guy" or the Red Power Ranger or wield the Blue Light Saber and nobody gives in, they just want to fight the bad guy!

Of course, my husband understood this better than I did and knew what to do to protect himself. He just stood in one spot, hunched over and took their blows made with tiny, bare fists. I, on the other hand,  would run from the potential of pain inflicting plastic. Naturally, their response was to strike - hard. The older kids whacked me in the knees as if they were Tonya Harding's boyfriend, while the two little brothers ran their Diego trikes over my foot.

"Excuse me, am I on holiday in Cambodia?" I'm thinking. Just in time, the pizza arrived. A minute later and I would have been drawn and quartered.

I did learn a couple of things in my ever-surveying mind. Kids love Papa John's pizza over authentic New York pizza for some reason. They prefer original Dorito's over any other flavor, with Cool Ranch coming in second and Capri Sun wins over Apple n' Eve, hands down. If you have at least one of these items stocked at home, you can host a party for six Red Power Rangers, too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clash Of The Titans Weekend

When my good friend suggested we hook up at the beer garden in Astoria, my old tour coordinating senses went into gear. I concocted a fool-proof plan of taking the kids to the movies before the party since the two places were only a block apart. We made a 4:30pm show at the UA Kaufman theater to see Clash Of The Titans in 3D. The timing worked out beautifully, the movie was another matter.

My husband hated it and I guess I could have too if it didn't cost us $59 just to get in. No, for that amount I forced myself to like it - even if the only bit I enjoyed was watching English actors playing Greek men in short skirts and braided hair. The only merit to the remake is that it made me truly appreciate the original made in 1981. For some reason, I thought it was even older than that - what with the claymation Medusa and all. But at least the original was all around endearing.

The remake by Louis Leterrier made a fatal mistake in casting Sam Worthington as Perseus. He may as well have cast Jason Stratham and called it Transporter Of The Titans. His gangster British accent didn't correlate with his character and he made Perseus seem like a stuck up idiot. First he's moping, then he's in denial of being a warrior and then all the sudden he's bad ass. Plus, his legs were too skinny to be sporting a mini-skirt. He would have redeemed himself if his balls popped out - in 3D.

I should have realized the "suck" potential by looking at the director's other movies, The Incredible Hulk, Transporter  and Transporter II. All of these movies have one thing in common for me, I hate the protagonist. Oh, well. What else could I do?

After a while, I just let it go and resolved to get lost in the 3D scenery - fuck Perseus and the brown-eyed chick. Although I admit, I loved the giant scorpions and Medusa's headless body clawing for her killer but the Kraken - it was a HUGE disappointment. It was just too big. You couldn't relate to anything that large, there's just no comparison. The original movie had the right idea. They made the Kraken the size of Godzilla. That, I can relate to. As a matter of fact, the remake should have just made the Kraken, Godzilla.

But I can't say anything bad about Liam Neeson or Ralph Fiennes, who played Zeus and Hades respectively. They could have and should have switched roles midway just to fuck with the audience. I never realized how much they look alike.

So, if you're thinking about seeing Clash Of The Titans, my recommendation is this - go see it but not in 3D. And if you want to have a great time instead of just a good one, maybe you should smoke some pot before you go.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thanks, Dora!

My three-year old granted me an hour to get some work done. Unfortunately, an hour was not enough. He watched the thirty minute Iron Man cartoon, then some annoying Umi-gumi thing that was totally distracting. My hour was up and he was just about to tell me he wanted to go outside when "Dora The Explorer" came on. Now he's glued to the screen and I got my bonus twenty-six minutes to finish this up.

The past hour, I've been looking through the "Customize" menu to list all the blogs I follow and it's truly frustrating. Sometimes, it's my fault - I forgot to hit Save. But I'm just annoyed that I have to copy and paste the URL of every blog I follow individually. Shouldn't the setting just do that for me automatically? Am I acting like some sort of slacker expecting this site to do this shit for me?

Dora and Boots are going to pick blueberries and they are up to the first obstacle - this means I have another twenty-minutes...

There is nothing more frustrating than getting stuck on administrative stuff. I suppose that's why I have over four-hundred unread messages in my Inbox. One of these days I'll get that puppy down to sixty messages, I swear. But as Aragorn said in Lord Of The Rings, today is not that day.

I plead to thee for help. Is there an easier way to show off the blogs I'm following or read recently? Is it a gadget I'm over looking or am I just being a lazy retard?

Okay, gotta go. Dora and Boots have reached Blueberry Hill and that means it's time to get ready. Today's ambitious plan is to take Samu to the FDNY museum in SoHo. He's expecting to drive outta there in a Fire Engine, sheesh.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Would You Blog For Alica Keys?

Seriously, - a job search site - just sent me the memo. If you are interested click here. If you don't already have an account with, you will need one to apply but you can sign up for free.

You can list yourself as a freelance writer, blogger or whatever you wish at Not only that, you can have more than one resume to target a completely different field. I have one as an inept receptionist. So far, I got more bites with that one but occasionally, I get stuff like this for writing.

Personally, I'm not an Alicia Keys fan and even if I were, it would take a great deal of commitment to blog for her everyday when I have problems maintaining my own. But I figure somebody's got to fit the bill. Maybe it's you!

Good luck and tell 'em I sent ya!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pay Day

It's the biggest check I ever got for writing. I still can't believe it, that my story won first place in a contest but there it was in my mailbox today - the moolah.

The contest was introduced to me by Kevin Ateridg's blog, Something Like That. The premise is First Line Fiction provides the first line and the contestant has to follow up with a story. It was a lot of fun and I'm already working on Contest number 8 ("I wouldn't do that if I were you," she told me the first time we met).

Considering my beginners luck may never provide the chance again to show off a winning horse, here's the yarn that's gonna pay for my pedicure. Hope you enjoy.

"The Butterfly Lady"

She's a local. The ghost in room 226. Of the guests she's haunted, most became parched with a distinctive curiosity that Grandma Tee was always happy to satiate with the tale. Then there were those who approached the front desk, paler than milk. It was always the (read more)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Allergy King

For the second time this week, I found myself at CVS trying to rack up fifteen dollars in shit so I could use my three dollar discount coupon. It is a ridiculous tactic to fall for but I fall for it everytime. Today, it so happened that I had to purchase allergy stuff for my five-year-old - that's easily ten bucks right there.

Childrens Claritin isn't doing squat. His eyes are puffed out like Ren and Stimpy and he just looks miserable. The school nurse called me and warned me, she did me a favor by keeping him in school but After School was a "No Go." I'd better pick him up armed with some real drugs.

So, there I was looking for Zyrtac eye drops at CVS. Of course they don't carry it, but I thought if I kept staring at the shelves it might magically appear. As I'm perusing my phantom drugs, who should walk in but the "Allergy King." I noticed him when he entered the aisle swinging a briefcase like it was a Prada purse. He wore a scarf in this 70 degree weather.

Immediately, he pounced on the young couple who were undecided about which medication to purchase.

"Oooh, do you have allergies?" He asked. "Because if you do, I can help you. I'm the Allergy King!"

The funny thing is, I've worked with Queens before and I always find it ironic when they call themselves 'Kings' but - whatever.

So he gives the girlfriend the third degree - are you looking for an expectorant, are you mucousy, are you experiencing itchiness, etcetera, etcetera. What does he send them off with? Claritin. You suck, Allergy King - that's all I got to say about that.

For my poor little guy, all I could find was "Clear Eyes" for allergies and I stuck with Benedryl. It knocks them out and they love the flavor. They act like it's crack. I got the three-year-old clinging to my leg, can I have some more, Mommy - some more meddecent- pleeeeze?

On a final note, I had helped my five-year-old with his social studies homework since he couldn't go to After School and I learned something new. The first instruction was, "Find your state and color it green," so he enthusiastically colored New York with his favorite color. The second part was, "Find the state you would like to visit and color it yellow."

His first choice was Texas, so I asked him why he chose it.

"Because it's like Aruba." He answered. When I told him that, other than the heat, it's nothing like Aruba he picked another state - this time it's Minnesota.

"Why do you want to visit Minnesota?" I asked.

With all seriousness that can be mustered of a five-year-old he answered, "Because it's made of soda."

Hope his allergies are better tomorrow so he can go to school and find out what Minnesota is really made out of, yah.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Status According To Children

My boys were playing with their newly purchased plastic swords. That's Easter money being put to good use by my husband's standards. They did their Spastic Kung Fu poses, occasionally struck each other with the blade and ended by saying they each won the battle.

"That was cool, right?" Said the three-year-old.

"No, not that cool," responded big brother, "it has to be on YouTube."

I had to stop and think about that statement. As disturbing as it sounds, I believe he had a point there. Nothing like social networking to make you realize how big of a loser you actually are.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Day After - Spring Recess

My alarm went off promptly at 6:43 this morning. I woke up to the three-year-old on my left and the five-year-old on my right, sleeping soundly in my bed. I couldn't tell you what time they must have snuck in, they are stealthy in that sense. The former on his belly with his butt in the air and the latter on his back with dry drool caked on the side of his mouth. I picture this scene advanced another thirteen years and suspect it will look the same - hopefully they won't be in my bed.

I expected the protests and the whining, after all they just spent a week in Aruba. Getting up whenever they felt like it, eating from buffets here and there with endless access to a soft ice cream machine - it was all over now. Back to reality: school, my cooking and me. But as soon as we approached the school they were both giddy to see their friends piling in. They dropped my hand like it was a piece of shit and went running towards the school playground.

When I caught up I saw all the parents and children congregated in the waiting cell below the playground - it's jam packed. The weather this morning was so warm it felt like Aruba, I couldn't imagine why anybody resigned to staying in, what looks to me, like a prison yard. But then again, a lot of public schools in New York can look like a prison. I think they hired the same architects or something. Or maybe it had something to do with crime and vandalism, you think?

"Why are there so many people waiting?" One mother commented.

"After a week and a half of having their kids at home, maybe the parents couldn't wait to shove them off," I replied. Lord knew that was me.

But there's only one problem - I got the three-year-old for an hour before his school starts. During the winter months, I opted for an early drop off. It was great, one after the other; boom-boom. I was a free woman after 8:15. But since it costs extra, I only signed up through March and today was the first day I had to entertain Samu for fifty-five minutes before I got to shove him off. I took him to the park across the street.

He knew the routine. We did it last September through December - we play and exercise for forty-minutes then eat Cheese Doodles and go to school with orange fingers. I don't know, maybe he missed his Grammy and Auntie or maybe the parks tar and concrete don't compare to white sandy beaches (I know, duh). He got bored of me fast. No matter what I came up with wasn't good enough, not even the Cheese Doodles.

It was a quarter to nine when he said something he's never said in his life. "Can I go to school, now?"

Let me tell you, I felt the love, bro - I felt the love.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Easter Sunday meant as much to me as a stick of celery would to the Fat Boys. Then I had kids and all of that changed. All holidays were a treat including Easter. Spring colored chiffon dresses, little men in suits all of them hunting for plastic eggs filled with candy or money, the Easter Egg hunt is a riot.

It's funny how priorities change depending on the age of a child. Mine are still young enough to just be happy with the candy. They look at a ten dollar bill and request the two quarters instead - it clinks in their hand, they reason. Although, this year we missed the family's egg hunt, the boys had their fill of chocolate from an Aruban in a Bugs Bunny suit who was handing them out by the pool. The poor soul must have been dying of heat in that outfit.

Bugs Bunny's assistant, who was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, twisted up balloon swords and dogs for the kids. Of course, when our three-year-old got his sword it was a trifle smaller than his big brother's so we had to order him another one. When the balloon artist (is that what you call these guys?) whipped him up another one, it was the wrong color. So he got yet another balloon sword. Now he had three and his hands were too full to engage in a sword fight. He gave me the orange one - the wrong colored one - because he popped the handle portion. I stood by the pool and realized that without the handle, it looked as if I were holding a balloon dildo. The fact that it was orange didn't help either.

"This don't look right," I said to Auntie.

"No, it don't." She replied and laughed at my demise. "Here, have an onion ring."

Onion rings make everything right again. Well, that with an ice cold beer by the pool.

What did your family do for Easter?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Samu In The Emergency Room

What haven't we done on this vacation in Aruba? We got sunburn doing Kenpo, lost for an hour and a half looking for a restaurant and now we can tack a trip to the emergency room up there as well. It was about 10:30 at night when my husband and I took a bleary eyed three-year-old to Dr. Horatio Odouber Hospital's emergency room for a busted lip.

We thought he would be okay - he had cut a small gash on his bottom lip when he tripped on some stairs. There was a lot of blood, but cuts to the lips and mouth tend to bleed a lot. By the time he woke up an hour later however, crying in pain, Grammy's bed looked like a scene from the Godfather. There was blood smeared everywhere. We called the house doctor who told us to go the hospital. Doctors have their diagnosis down don't they? If you're sick, it's a virus; if you need attention after five pm - go to the hospital.

So we jumped in a cab that cost us ten U.S. dollars, which took us a quarter of a mile to the nearest hospital. I must say, it was a clean hospital and the only bloody patient was our "Sippy" Samu. Other than him, there was a kid who looked like he had been puking all night and an old woman with an ace bandage wrapped around her head. I'm used to New York hospitals with their victims of hit and run accidents and homeless drug addicts accompanied by the police. Being that this was my kid's first trip to an emergency room, I'm glad it was in Aruba.

One hour and one-hundred-thirty dollars later, Samu's lip was all glued up and ready to go. Thank God Grammy threw us a couple of hundred dollars in cash. It didn't even occur to me that we would have to pay since I'm so used to just showing up with insurance cards. It may have been the reason we were in and out of there so quick, now that I think about it.

The next day, we had dinner at the Italian restaurant, Papparazzi. The Maitre D' looks at me and says, "Hey, didn't I see you at the hospital yesterday?"

"Yes." I say and explained why we were there.

Apparently, she had seen us as we were leaving the hospital. Her son was just brought in after being in a motorcycle accident. She claimed they waited until four in the morning for attention - a far difference in the service we received. She said her son was fine and laughed, revealing a whole other story behind it.

As she seated us she said, "Yes, I remembered seeing you there and thinking, oh they send our guests here? Ha, ha, ha."

Ha, ha, ha, indeed.

What's your favorite emergency room tale - I'd like to hear it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We Are Those Idiots

We thought we were being smart, my husband and I, when we planned out our workout routine during vacation in Aruba. I suggested using the patio in back of the gym for our cardio routine. Did I take in the fact that it would be 80 degrees outside - or that the sun would be beating down on us? It's probably the type of thing that most people see and wonder what idiot would do that? Well, apparently we are those idiots.

Yes, we finished our Kenpo X routine and it felt, well - grueling. No, torturous is probably more like it. Sweat was pouring out of our eyeballs, our bottles of water were heated to tea-making temperature plus I got burnt on my shoulders which cast tan lines from three different straps. Now my shoulders look like the Los Angeles freeway.

When we were done, we dragged our ragged asses into the gym to cool down. The three time body building champion of Aruba's Miss Universe greeted us with towels and smiles. I love this place. You can try to kill yourself and the people make you feel happy about doing it.