Tag Archives: surviving suburbia

My Encounter with the Gym Locker Room Shower

8 Apr
After using the gym shower, I have a newfound appreciation for this 1974 tiled beauty

After using the gym shower, I have a new appreciation for this tiled beauty from 1974.

My husband and I are getting ready to put our house on the market, so we’ve been doing a few repairs to spruce the old girl up. Last week this process involved not one, but two separate instances where fresh caulk was applied to the shower. If you know anything about caulking a shower, you know the area has to stay totally dry for 24 hours following the job, to settle it or something…

Anyways, our house has1.5 bathrooms, meaning it’s a one shower establishment. I love showers. I take them at least twice a day. What can I say, I’m odd. So this posed a big problem for me, with only one logical solution — heading to the showers in locker room at my gym. Ick!

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Afterall, I’m glad my gym locker room can offer me a backup shower five minutes down the road whenever I need it. But it’s just sooo… eww!

Although my gym is a large national chain, I don’t find it to be the poster child for cleanliness. As someone who hates germs, having to shower in such a place isn’t exactly on my list of favorite things to do. Oh well, here goes…

Braving the Locker Room Shower

If you’re going to the gym to take a shower, you’ve gotta at least justify this event with a workout first. I prepped myself for this event by getting all hot and sweaty running intervals on the treadmill. After this process, I knew there was no backing out, I HAD to take a shower, and it HAD to happen at the gym.

I came fully prepared, stocked with shower shoes, a beach towel (not only providing extra coverage, but also because I would never feel the same about one of my bath towels after taking it on a fieldtrip to the gym locker room), my own travel-sized products taken from a hotel (so I could dispose of them afterwards), and some clean clothes.

I approached the shower area with caution, as I had never previously cared to venture into this part of my gym locker room. Overall, it wasn’t too bad. No open air jail-room style showers as I had feared, but instead a bunch of individual little stalls, complete with shower curtains that didn’t quite cover the doorway openings. Yum. Added bonus: many were still wet from the leftover shower spray of other ladies. Double yum.

I was pleasantly surprised that the shower was big enough that I didn’t need to touch the walls, because really who knows how many nude weirdos had been rubbing up against them before I got there (eww eww eww). There was a soap dispenser on the shower wall filled with an amber-colored substance that I decided to avoid. Was it soap, shampoo, conditioner, or all three? Who knows.

After taking the world’s shortest shower, I headed straight to my locker to put my nice, clean clothes on. And immediately after I was fully clothed, I rushed straight to the sink for some hardcore handwashing in an attempt to remove locker room shower germs from my fingers.

Ultimately, I’ll admit it wasn’t the worst experience in the world. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

So the next time you find yourself in a grody gym locker room prepping for a shower, just remember to touch as little as possible and to consult the sink for a good case of handwashing rid yourself of those germs right after!

Abercrombie & Fitch Propositions “The Situation”

18 Aug

At the age of 29, Michael “The Situation’ Sorrentino is still wearing clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch. No one is more offended by this than the company themselves. In fact, Abercrombie is so desperate for ‘the Situation’ to put on some big boy pants, that they’re willing to pay him to do it.

That’s right, Abercrombie staffers have been watching ‘Jersey Shore,’ and are horrified to discover that the cast members are prancing around Italy in their clothing. The company doesn’t believe that the behavior of the ‘Jersey Shore’ stars properly aligns with their brand image.

Personally, I’d love it if a company would actually pay me not to wear their clothing. I can see both sides of this argument though. On one hand, from Abercrombie’s viewpoint, I guess it would be alarming to see these people behaving like animals while wearing your brand.

At the same time though, people always want to buy what they see on tv. The vast majority of the ‘Jersey Shore’ audience is Abercrombie wearing tweens, teens, and college kids. Do they really think a parent is going to say, “no, you can’t have this shirt because ‘The Situation’ has it too?” That’s not going to happen. In fact, if anything it should boost their sales.

Last year Abercrombie actually sold a men’s graphic tee with the words ‘Fitchuation’ on it. Now, where do you think the influence for that one came from?

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the contents of the “ABERCROMBIE” press release from the company:

New Albany, Ohio, August 12, 2011:  Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) today reported that it has offered compensation to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, a character in MTV’s TV show The Jersey Shore to cease wearing A&F products.

A spokesperson for Abercrombie & Fitch commented:

“We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image.  We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans. We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’s The Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand.  We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a

Read more about this ‘situation’ in the Wall Street Journal’s, “Abercrombie and Fitch Offers to Pay ‘The Situation’ To Stop Wearing Its Clothes.”

Batman Movie Set Invades Downtown Pittsburgh

11 Aug
Photo taken by Rob Schultz

Downtown Pittsburgh isn’t usually the most exciting place to work, but today was the exception to the rule. Before I even made it into my building, I got I was greeted by Bane’s batmobile parked right outside.

It's pretty cool to look out your window at work and see a movie set.

I haven’t seen any of the Batman films since the early 90’s, but I’m going to have to check this one out.

Fake snow on a movie set is the only snow I like.

I should have volunteered my car to be in the movie.

The batmobile was hiding from the paparazzi (me).

Where is Christian Bale? Batman must’ve been hiding from the revelers on Smithfield St.

That's no Pittsburgh school bus!

What's a movie set without a tanker?

Just another day on Smithfield Street…

I love this thing.

I assume this monster fan is responsible for making the fake snow blow around into a fake snowstorm?  Ohhh how I love Hollywood in Pittsburgh!

You don't see a movie set sign on Wood Street everyday.

If I were to have gotten lost while walking back to work today, I could’ve just followed the signs to the movie set. Just sayin’…

Movie set "snow."

Today I learned that "snow" on an outdoor movie set in August is made of small, styrofoamish pellets. Basically you could pack a box of wine glasses with this stuff, and expect them to arrive in tact.

Watch the batmobile cruise.


Suburbia Survival Skills

5 Aug

I grew up in the suburbs, and it was great, but I instantly fell in love with the city when I moved there for college. I quickly became a ‘city girl,’ staying there for a number of years after college. I developed a disdain for the suburbs, and as any good city dweller does, judged anyone who lived in there.

When I was 24 I decided that I had to buy a condo, and it had to be in the ‘right’ part of the city. I applaud myself for my intentions, but any idiot can tell you how realistic this one was on the salary of a 24 year old marketing specialist. So the next year, with my desire to own real estate still raging on, I surrendered and bought my cute little house in suburbia.

Suburbia is notorious for it's wide variety of strip malls.

I’ve been happily living in suburbia for more than a year now, thanks to these survival skills I’ve learned along the way:

1.)    Don’t Befriend Your Neighbors. It’s fine to be nice to your neighbors, in fact you should be nice to your neighbors. Being nice and hanging out playing board games on Saturday nights are two different things. If you’re too friendly with the neighborhood crew, you’re bound to start spending wayyy too much time inside the confines of your suburban area, where you will soon become another suburban robot.

2.)    Visit the City Often. If you work there, this sort of counts, but not really. Head to the city on the weekend, instead of settling for suburban activities. Go to street fairs, museums, and see plays at the theater. This will keep you culturally balanced, so that you remain interesting.

3.)    Don’t Get Stuck in the Chain Restaurant Trap. Applebee’s and TGI Fridays are not nice restaurants, you know better. There’s a reason that places like these are typically only found in suburban areas. Look for locally-owned restaurants that will actually serve good food. Of course, you should also head to the city, visit your old favorites, and stay on top of the hot new restaurants too.

4.)    Drive a Normal Car. Do not get a mini-van, maxi-van, or a station wagon. If you’ll notice, there’s not many of these cars on the road anymore. This is because they are ugly, dated, and unstylish. If you need a big car, get an SUV, don’t channel the 90’s in a giant predator van.

5.)    Avoid Taking Up “Suburban” Hobbies. Regardless of how you want to argue this, scrapbooking and card club groups are not cool. This is non-negotiable. Instead, try cooking classes, book clubs, tennis lessons, yoga or blogging. These will keep you from becoming a boring suburban person, and instead evolving into an interesting person who happens to live in suburbia.