Crazy people LOVE me

I’ve always believed I attract crazy people. Case in point:

While standing at my desk this morning, the phone rings.

It’s one of the security guards downstairs.

Not just any guard – it’s Dan. We’re on first-name relations. Why? ‘Cause the one person we both dread seeing has dropped by the building. For the fourth time. In three weeks.

It’s this middle-aged Korean lady who wanted me to find someone to do a story. She’s somehow here in the country illegally, because she tried to get from her native South Korea to the United States, but she says her immigration attempts were foiled by her country’s government.

What else? Ummm … she came up with this medicine, which she tried to get patented, but to no avail, because the Korean government interfered with that, too. And her secret serum somehow ended up in the hands of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners for Chemistry. (I barely know how to spell “chemistry” on my best days, let alone understand it.)

I’m sure some of you have sympathy for her. I did, too. At first. That was mainly because her English – spoken or written – wasn’t the best.

Then I found a colleague who speaks Korean – and has better judgement than me – to talk to her and translate.

She thinks everyone is conspiring against her. I’m not just talking about her homeland’s government. I mean, the U.S. Patent Office, and even her own family, who’s tried to put her in a mental institution. Twice. And disowned her.

She even gave me one week to get back to her and decide whether we can interview her. And I called her back earlier in the week and left a message at the place she was staying and said, “No interview.”

Apparently to her that translates to, “No interview today. Try again tomorrow.”

I even said to her face, “We can’t do this story. No interview. None.” I explained to her why. Or, at least I tried.

I’m waiting for the phone calls to start.

THAT was close.

Ever had someone threaten to storm or destroy your place of work?

No. I don’t mean in a crank-call-the-school-principal’s-office way. I mean, in an-Al-Qaeda-kill-lots-of-people way.

Well, it happened to me and my fellow employees yesterday.

The Coles Notes version (if you don’t want to read it here): Authorities arrested up 17 people last weekend, suspected of being part of a homegrown terrorist cell that was concocting an attack on the country. Over the next few days, they were corralled into court.

On Tuesday, during such proceedings, a lawyer for one of the suspects rattled off a litany of allegations by the Crown, including beheading the prime minister, and storming and/or destroying various buildings, ours included.

Most of this would have just left people shocked, speechless and just plain scared.

My response when I heard?

“Whoa! Our building was a target?!”

Imagine the above phrase inflected with a mix of incredulousness … and something closely resembling awe.

Even when I reached home, my parents asked me about it. And I still kinda brushed it aside.

My dad relayed what he’d heard. I was a bit nonplussed about it.

I repeated what I’d said earlier in the day to my mom.

“Target? Um, you could have been a hostage,” she replied.

So what’s shocking? What almost happened? Or how I reacted?

I mean, some of us at work were half-joking about it. To an outsider, I’m sure we’d be labelled a bunch of insensitive clods. But working where I do, I think being exposed to countless hours of radio and television desensitizes a person with time (at least, a little bit).

Pair that with the fact the plan was foiled before it was executed. Had someone actually made it to the front lobby of our building and some scuffle or takedown had ensued, perhaps it would have been different.

Frankly, I can’t speak for anyone else, but any attack since 9/11 has seemed completely surreal to me. Like some sort of a prolonged sort of shock or denial. Despite reading about it, or watching it, it’s like part of my brain thinks it’s some big elaborate … I don’t know, global play?

It’s not that I don’t think people attacking other innocent people is a horrible thing. It’s dastardly and the most gruesome, dispicable form of hate and cowardice imaginable.

Perhaps part of me is still holding on to tiny threads of the past, from The Time Before Everything Changed.

Or perhaps despite all this horrible stuff, I’m still optimistic about life and people.

Because for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I’m not more worried.

Someone please call 6-6-6 …

(Apologies to Wyclef and Mary J for the above title)

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (courtesy of Wikipedia):

A fear which originates in the belief that the Biblical verse, Revelation 13:18, indicates that the number 666 is linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ. Outside the Christian faith, the phobia has been further popularized as a leitmotif in various horror films.

Number one on my “To Do” list today is done.

Now all I have to do is walk under an open ladder while holding a black cat, open an umbrella indoors and break a mirror with the handle, and spill a shitload of salt without tossing any over my shoulder.

Cue the hail, frogs and locusts.

June Jigglies

June. Sweet June.

You’re only three days old, and I’m already crushin’ on you.

Ah, the warmer weather. More hours of daylight. And fewer hours of sleep — you can’t engage in any summer shenanigans if you’re napping.

My mind is already on imagination overload, daydreaming about the fun I’m about to have: Drinks on patios. Barbeques. Vacation. Hot nights out on the town, eating hot dogs or something greasy early in the morning. The annual camping trip …

And then my mind stops abruptly at the two two-piece bathing suits stuffed in my drawer. Which reminds me of my June Jigglies.

I don’t think I’m fat. I’ve actually had someone tell me I should really put on a few more pounds. (And he needs the weight more than I do.)

What I dread is what shape my package is in after being bundled up for about six months. And what gelatinous surpises I might find.

I just know that looking at myself in the mirror in a bathing suit will wake up the inner Shallow Gal. I’ll start hearing the voice — and she’ll say the one thing I loathe: “Girl, you need to get to a gym. Like, YESTERDAY.”

Bicep curls. Dead-leg lifts. Crunches. Squats. Tricep and calf exercises that sear with pain.

Sexy, no?

When it comes to exercise, I think there are three camps. There’s the camp that says, “Suck it up and go”, and they find a gym or some activity and do it. There’s the other camp that doesn’t see exercise as all that purposeful and says, “Sweat? Ew! Why?” and just doesn’t go.

Then … there’s the camp I’m in. You join a gym, start off slowly at first. You get into a routine. You gain confidence. Then you start showing up at the gym more often. It used to be twice a week. Then it becomes three times a week. Then maybe four or five.

Before you know it, you’re jauntily jogging on the treadmill, and you’re like, “After I finish my 60-minute run, I think I’ll hang myself from that chin-up bar upstairs and do some upside-down crunches. Maybe bench-press 250 after that. Summer, I will OWN you.”

Then in a surprise attack, the Inner Slob jumps the Inner Gym Rat, covering her mouth with chloroform and putting her in a sleeper hold. The Slob then drags her into a room in the basement, locks the door, and attempts to laugh maniacally, but laughs so hard she starts coughing.

You’ve just fallen off the wagon.

That’s what happened to me. I’d actually been going to the gym since November or December. But starting in March, and continuing in April with my cousin’s wedding, and the most manic work schedule I can remember, my inner lemming took over — seriously, she’s such an unmotivated little douche — and I stopped going to the gym and started stuffing my pie-hole with junk food.

I’ve now almost back to going twice a week, but not without its consequences. Due to my infrequent schedule, my trainer saw fit to open the can of whoop-ass on Tuesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, my physiotherapist took up the slack. It’s the weekend and I still feel like I was shaken down and beaten for my lunch money.

My only consolation in this is that my friend Kristy — who just recently acquired a trainer at her local gym — and I commiserate about our aches and pains. So I know I’m not the only one trying to fight this uphill battle.

I’m not looking to drop the equivalent of a small toddler (although Shallow Gal would love nothing more). But a little more motivation and a little less jiggle wouldn’t hurt.