Coloring Therapy

ColoringBlog1A couple of weeks ago my mom sent me a really thoughtful gift after one of our phone conversations.  The gift included an adult coloring book (trendy!) and a fresh new set of colored pencils.  Shortly after, I decided to try out some coloring.  Coloring is “relaxing,” they say.  It “relieves stress,” they say.  That’s when it happened: Flashback.

My freshman year of high school the only thing I learned in biology class was how our teacher preferred for us to color.  On one of the first days of class our homework assignment was to color a 1″ square in our composition notebooks to her liking.  She insisted that we color with colored pencils and that there were “no white spots” left on the paper.  The things I ended up coloring that included:

  • Several moths
  • A monarch butterfly
  • A zebra
  • An elephant
  • A double helix
  • Steven Spielberg’s face


The monarch butterfly was supposed to be colored with all colored pencil, including each tiny white speck on the wings.  I colored that part of the wing black and used white out for the spots for increased wing accuracy.  I got in trouble.

The zebra’s black stripes were supposed to be colored with ball point pen.  Who colors with ball point pen?!  I used a felt tip pen, a.k.a. a Sharpie for greater homework efficiency.  I got in trouble again.

Flashback over.

In addition to not knowing a thing about biology, the trauma I suffered apparently still lives in my heart.  That night, when I began coloring I took a deep breath and colored the first picture with plenty of white spots shining through and the relief that Ms. C****** would never judge my coloring again.

I would like to thank my mother for helping me rid myself of this pent up stress and trauma that has been hiding in my heart for the past 14 years.  What would I do without you?


The Eye Examination

These Glasses Are Old

Not sure what face this is, but these glasses are 12 years old.

I have a confession.  I have had my current glasses for 12 years.  TWELVE YEARS.  That means they graduated high school with me, graduated college with me, and have been part of my adulthood for longer than they were in college.  They have been ok and have served their purpose until the past couple of years when my vision decided to get a little bit worse and now I can’t see with them on.  Needless to say, I decided to set up an eye appointment to get an updated prescription.

The nurse called me back at my appointment time (victory!) and then asked me to take my contacts out.  She pulled up that screen with the letters on it and asked me to cover one eye and read what I could.  Only one problem, my contacts are no longer in my eyes so that screen isn’t possible for me to read anymore.  Do you want me to guess what the top line says?

She puts some lenses in front of my eyes to check to see if my prescription is right and asks me to read the smallest line possible.  This is always a funny guessing game to me.  Out of 5 letters I’m 95% sure about 3 of them and 2 are guesses.  That last little letter over there could be an E, B, R, or K, right?  Oh, it’s an S you say?  Totally!  I see it now! Isn’t that what I said it was?

Then the lady tells me that I need to go pay a contact lens fitting fee before I see the doctor.  Oh? I thought I scheduled and paid a co-pay for a contact lens examination?  Insurance these days.  My contacts are still sitting on the counter and she hands me my ancient glasses.  Now I have to walk down two flights of stairs to wait in line and then pay and then come back and then see the doctor.

When I come back the doctor was ready to see me (victory again!) and she examines my eyes.  Look up and to the right, up and to the left, down and to the left, she says like a speed demon.  I’m doing it as fast as I can hoping that I actually know my left from my right.  As a dance teacher I’m constantly telling children to move right while I’m moving left and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten which way is actually which.  By the time I can think all of these thoughts she tells me the results of my examination: “You don’t have any signs of cataracts or glaucoma.” Uh, yeah. Hopefully not!

She hands me some contacts and I ask what prescription they are.  Looks like my eyes have gotten a tiny bit worse…again.  So I speak for the first time this appointment (maybe even that day!) and say, “My prescription stayed the same for about 10 years but in the past couple years it has gotten a little bit worse.  Is there a reason for this?  Is there anything I can do?” She replies, “There’s not really anything you can do, I mean, you are getting older.”

Zing. Mlopblog1

Excuse me?  She then tells me that the type of contacts that I’ve been wearing have been around so long that the materials they are made of are out dated and they are being phased out, so she needs to switch me to this new type by the same brand.

Double Zing.

Then she asks if I’ve considered getting Lasik.

Triple Zing. (If you don’t know – long story short I’ve dreamed of getting Lasik but I am not a good candidate.)

I left the appointment feeling depressed and drove home in the rain with my eyes dilated.  In that moment, I couldn’t handle all of the talk of me getting old so I handled the situation the only way I know how.  I took a nap.

Over & out.


WorkoutblogpicKevin came home from the gym last week telling me there was no one around.  He said it felt like the “calm before the storm.” It’s no surprise the gym is sure to be packed in the upcoming weeks with people making resolutions to live healthier.  I have to admit, I don’t have a gym membership because I don’t like working out in social environments, but I did have a gym membership once and I regularly fought the beginning of the year crowds with no frustration.  Here’s the majority of what I’m seeing from people who work out regularly, people who already had memberships before the year began:

Posts about gym regulars dreading going this time of year, looking forward to March and April when the numbers will start to decline, just waiting for resolutioners to give up on their goals so exercising can be more convenient again.

It takes a lot to work out at a gym.  The first part of that is just motivating yourself to get to the gym, which is easier for some people than others.  Being in the gym can be overwhelming for first time gym goers with all of the equipment to learn and intimidating fitness fanatics giving off critical vibes.  Even if gym regulars aren’t giving off critical vibes, being new to a gyms doesn’t come along with any sort of comfort or confidence.  Any new situation requires courage.

I can see how limited gym equipment can be frustrating, but wouldn’t it be nice if we encouraged people with healthy goals?  At the end of the day, everyone in the gym is there to try to get fit and live a more gratifying life regardless of their current fitness level.  Maybe a sense of community and encouragement would help some new gym members stick with it.  Even if just a small percentage of new members stay, that means more happy and healthy people in the community, and that seems like something we should all be positive about.

We’ve all tried things that we realized we didn’t like – I’m the perfect example.  I used to work out at the gym five days a week and I love using equipment I can’t afford.  But at the end of the day I realized working out without anyone else around was more enjoyable for me and I no longer have a gym membership.  Some people will stick with it, and some people won’t. Some will fall in love with running or spin class while others realize they’d rather get out of the gym and join a bowling league.  Whatever everyone decides to do, supporting others who are making positive changes in their lives can’t hurt anyone.

I Knew My Rent Was Gon’ Be Late

IMG_2969Usually when I’m driving I have my phone plugged in and listen to Pandora or podcasts, but the other day I had the blessing of listening to the radio.  I know I sound old when I say that music isn’t as good as it used to be.  There are just so many songs on the radio that seem like the lyrics were written in about two seconds.  I heard the following lyrics from a Pitbull song featuring Ne-Yo.  Don’t get me wrong, I can jam to Pitbull and Ne-Yo when I’m in the mood, but right now I’ve decided to help both of them out with their monthly budget.  The song begins like this:

“I knew my rent was gon’ be late about a week ago
I worked my a** off, but I still can’t pay it though
But I got just enough
To get up in this club
Have me a good time, before my time is up.”

Later in the song Pitbull explains that he is spending his last $20, followed by a statement about ordering some shots.  I assume he is putting the shots on his credit card because the cover charge for the club was probably a minimum of $20 if Pitbull is clubbing in Miami.  If Pitbull can’t pay his rent, chances are his credit card debt is steadily increasing.

I did some amateur googling on the cost of things in Miami, and I am going to give Pitbull the benefit of the doubt when calculating his weekly club outing.

As we discussed earlier, the lowest the cover charge would probably be is $20.
Finding the price of a shot was difficult because I don’t usually go to the club or drink shots, but it looks like the low average is $5/shot.  From reading the song lyrics it looks like Pitbull lines up a round of shots, and then has another one later on in the night.  I’ll be nice and put 8 shots on Pitbull’s tab, for a total of $40.  If Pitbull and Ne-Yo wish to impress their lady friends, they may want to get a round of cocktails.  Four cocktails at an average cost of $12/cocktail would add up to $48.  I’m assuming Pitbull and Ne-Yo are responsible, and will be taking a cab or an Uber home, so lets add $15 to the night.  Conservatively, a night at the club would cost them somewhere around $123.

Pitbull seems like a fun guy, so I’m going to go ahead and assume he goes to the club once per week.  If it’s a four weekend kind of month, his monthly club tab comes to approximately $492.  We didn’t include tax so I’m going to round to $500.  Let’s not mention the fact that Pitbull in this song makes a reference to partying every night.  This alcohol habit is getting expensive.

The average cost of rent in Miami for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1500/month.  I know Pitbull doesn’t seem to mind that his rent is late, but he may not realize that incurring a late fee adds to his debt while simultaneously lowering his credit score and increasing his interest fees.  So here is my message to Pitbull:  If you stopped clubbing and saved $500/month, you would save $6000 over the course of a year which is equal to 4 months of rent.

Just a thought, Pitbull.  And I gave this advice out for free.

The Flying Roach

This past week Kevin was out of town and I did not want to write this post until he was back because of security purposes.  Anyway, you always learn how much your significant other does when they are not available to help you.  Most of the time Kevin helps me without complaining, and without me saying please.  I appreciate you, boo.

It was Wednesday and the sun had fallen, marking the completion of 4 days without Kevin.  I was in the bunny loft watching the hoppers when I decided to place an online order.  I descended two flights of stairs to retrieve my credit card before having to reascend to the bunny loft.  Typically, this wouldn’t be necessary because I have my number memorized, but I recently received a replacement card and ain’t nobody got time to memorize 16 new numbers, and a more difficult security code.  I approached the top of the second flight of stairs, looking forward to my purchase and also impressed that I was not out of breath after ascending at record speed.  That’s when I saw it.


The culprit.

As I walked down the 6 foot hallway between the top of the stairs and the bunny loft I spotted a brown roach at eye level on the wall.  Let’s flashback to early that day when I was bragging to my friend about how bug free my new house was.  Flashback over.  I glanced over at Loafer as if to ask for some emotional support but her eyebrows responded with a nice but firm “you’re on your own.”  I stared at the roach and before my very eyes it FLEW to a spot in the corner of the hallway.  As if being a roach wasn’t terrifying enough already, this thing could fly.  Anxiety built in my chest.

Loafer looks at roach. Loafer looks at me. Loafer says she will not help. Loafer runs away.

Loafer looks at roach. Loafer looks at me. Loafer says she will not help. Loafer runs away.

After standing there frozen I knew what I had to do.  Step 1: Tweet my problems (@anlalley – follow me!) Step 2: Text Kevin about the situation.  Step 3: Put on my MacGyver hat and try to find a solution because there was no way I was going to sleep in a house where a flying roach could attack me at any moment.  There were no shoes around or anything hard enough to smash the indestructible thing.  I had no hazmat suit or goggles.  I found the only thing I could possibly think of to help my situation: Windex.

I turned the Windex to the spray at full blast setting that is only necessary for bug killing.  I started to squirt that little sucker when it began flying around and terrorizing my house.  I just couldn’t stop spraying the windex and approximately 100 sprays later it’s wings were so soaked in toxic chemicals that it spiraled to the staircase.  Really, roach?  We’re taking it to the stairs?

I trapped the roach under a measuring cup before conducting an inventory of possible supplies to limit contact between my fingers and it’s body.  Magazine cover page? Perfect.  I slid the magazine cover page underneath the measuring cup and transported the roach to the toilet where it reached it’s unnatural conclusion.  If you didn’t get the memo, that means I killed it.  I slipped and slid out of the bathroom only to realize that I was standing in the midst of a windex war zone.  There was windex EVERYWHERE.

The roach was still living when I took this picture.

The roach was still living when I took this picture.

Since I am a multi tasking expert I live tweeted the entire incident, took photos, and texted Kevin for the emotional support that Loafer couldn’t provide.  I wouldn’t say I survived this battle, but then again I didn’t get flushed down a toilet at the end of it either.

Kevin provides emotional support.

Kevin provides emotional support.

In case you were wondering, yes, I eventually placed my online order.  The end.