Thursday, August 18, 2005

Old Memories...and a New Mystery

Weekend Assignment #73: From your own AOL Journal or AIM Blog, pick your own favorite entry from the last year (from 8/21/04 onward). Link to it in the comment thread below, so we can all see what it was. You can alternately, of course, create a new entry where you link to your favorite entry, but that seems a bit overly complicated. Linking directly to your favorite entry will be fine. If you want to include any thoughts on the entry in your comment, well, that would be great, too.

This particular assignment is a bit of a stumper for me.  I've written over 365 entries this past year, and I don't know which one to pick.  Shall I point to one of my photo essay extravaganzas, 7-to-10 photos plus a thousand words or more about a Round Robin theme or Weekend Assignment topic or some aspect of life in Tucson?  I'm really proud of these, but most of the better ones are recent, and a lot of people have seen them already.  Shall I link to a "soapbox" type entry, one of my pseudo-sermons about being nice to people, or a rant about blog-related issues?  Some of these are well-written, but assignments like this tend to elicit lots of links to "uplifting" journal entries, the sort of stuff that used to be made into ABC Afterschool Specials.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (no, not at all!), but my gut instinct here is to shy away from linking to a "very special edition of Musings."

Then what shall I link to instead?  It may be better to link to an older entry, written when my readership was smaller.  These have fewer pictures, and slightly less ambitious writing, so they probably aren't my best work.  But here are some I remember fondly, that stand out as I review my AOL-J online archive.  The candidates are:

Postcards from Pleasant Street (Sunday, August 29, 2004).  This consists of several anecdotes from my days at Pleasant Street Elementary School in Manlius, NY.

(AOL has glitched up the next link three times so far with its disappearing space trick, but I'll try again.)

The Singing Skunk (Monday, August 30, 2004). This begins, "It was a serious tactical error on my part to trade roles with Jean Jeffrey in our second grade play."

Under the railroad bridge.  Winter, 1972.A Remarkable Facility (Friday, August 27, 2004).  In this roundup of English teachers I remember from high school, five words on a returned paper are seared into my brain forever.

Blame It on Tiger Beat (Thursday, September 9, 2004).  In which Miss Skinner takes note of my Monkees-induced bout of temporary ungrammatical insanity.

The Lost Railroad and the Land of Salamanders (Wednesday, October 20, 2004).  My favorite place in Manlius was my own private semi-wilderness, just past Cherry Manor.  This is the closest thing to a photo essay on this list.

What the heck.  Let's go with the last one, about the salamanders and the old railroad bridge.

I seem to have chosen all Manlius reminiscences here. That's not all I write about, truly!  Last October, I wrote obsessively about Halloween and death for about two weeks straight, even though I'm not a morbid person.  This summer, it's been practically all Tucson weather, all the time.  There there are my Saturday night fiction entries (which only a few people read), the occasional poem, lots of photo essays, long-winded excuses about why I didn't write a long entry that night, news about what's going on in my life, and plenty of rants.  Oh, and I write about Disneyland, midcentury modern decor, and/or time travel rather often.  So if you're not interested in the Memoirs of Karen Funk, age 6 - 18, you may want to skip the entries linked above, and scroll through my July and August 2005 stuff instead.  Or not.


The details of this story are kind of fuzzy.I promised to tell you about this week's weird developments on the personal trainer front.  As you may recall, I was busylast week and the week before getting the house cleaned up, in preparation for the appraiser coming in.  (The results are in, by the way.  The house was valued at $2,000 less than the estimate, but almost double our purchase price.)  My only workouts last week consisted of hauling boxes of books and video to Bookman's, and lots of other stuff into storage.  I postponed my session with the trainer because a) I simply didn't have time, and b) I wasn't getting my workouts in anyway, or anywhere near enough sleep. 

So, okay, the first fault is entirely mine.

But my rescheduled session from a week ago Wednesday was supposed to take place this past Monday.  An hour before the appointed time, the kid assigned to be my trainer called to tell me that the computer showed I hadn't paid for any August sessions yet.  Say what?  I'm supposed to be charged automatically for that.  I've even talked to the service that handled the payments, and given them the expiration date on the new card.  There really shouldn't be a problem.  But somehow, there was.

My trainer, J., said he didn't have the number of the payment service handy, and would check with his manager about straightening out the account.  Apparently I couldn't have the training session in the meantime.  To make things easier on all of us, I postponed again, to Wednesday night at 8 PM.  Last night.  My usual time.

I never heard back from anyone about the status of the payments, so I called around 6 PM Wednesday and asked for J.  The person answering the phone hesitated a moment, and then said that J. wasn't there.  I explained about the payment thing, and asked whether I should show up for my session.  She said that I probably shouldn't.  This was not because of a problem with my account, but because my trainer had called in (sick or injured or something; the details were unclear) on Tuesday, and had neither called nor come to work on Wednesday.  She offered to let me talk to the district manager, who happened to be there last night.  I was then put on hold for a long time.  Since this was on my Sprint phone, I eventually hung up, waited a few minutes and called back. 

This time I got to talk to the district manager right away, with his sincere apologies.  Although the woman who answered the phone had spoken of problems with the payment service,the manager guy told me the system showed I had six sessions paid for that I hadn't used yet.  He also told me that in the event of aproblem, the policy was to let the client have the session anyway, and straighten things out afterward. He didn't say so outright, but the implication was that my account was probably fine on Monday, rather than fixed in the two days since. 

His main concern, though, was about my no-show trainer.  Had J. ever been late or missing when I showed up for my previous appointments?  "Never," I told him.  In fact, I'd been feeling guilty about the couple of times I'd called and postponed.  

It was clear, though, that the Body of Change folks were fed up with J., and anxious to make up for any inconvenience I'd suffered.  There was talk of a free session, reevaluating where I was in my training and assigning me to another trainer.  Sure!  Fine!  Great!  I resisted complaining too much about J., whom I'd liked.  But the truth was that I didn't think this kid half my age really understood the training needs of a 48-year-old woman.  I was ready for a change anyway, but hadn't made one because I didn't want to hurt J's feelings.

So tonight I showed up at 6 PM for a free session with Justin, the guy who signed me up in the first place.  It turned out that this arrangement was news to Justin, but he was gracious and helpful.  (Despite a few snafus tonight, Justin is very competent and personable, and a great guy.)  Next weirdness: Justin couldn't find my file at first.  It eventually turned up in a binder, possibly J's. 

Justin went over my training schedule with me, and set one up that's likely to work better for me than what J. was doing.  Then he took me through a long and difficult session of back and chest and abs exercises.  I learned a lot.  And next week, on Tuesday, I have a session with someone else, whose name I've forgotten already.

It turns out that Justin was out of town when all this stuff with J. took place.  He had no news or speculations to offer, except that J. was "on his way out the door." Yeah, I'd figured that.  So I still don't know what really happened.  Did J. make a mistake on Monday, or was my account genuinely screwed up, or was he making an excuse not to meet with me?  Did he really hurt himself on Tuesday, and honestly think his Tuesday phone call let him off the hook from work for Wednesday?  Why couldn't anyone reach him by phone yesterday?

I'll probably never know the answers.  But I've got a new trainer I haven't met yet, and incentive to get my workouts back on track.



ryanagi said...

New trainer, fresh all sounds good. :-)  As for your selection of past year entries, I like the first one the best. :-)

tc01hm said...

Enjoyed All!

eparanormal said...

You can do it!