Arizona

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AGMA’s on the road. Again.

Thank goodness.

We got back from our New Zealand trip on 12/7. I was getting antsy.

This trip is a total trip down memory lane.

Right now, at this very moment, I’m in Tucson, Arizona where the weather is spectacular and the Margarita’s are cheap.

But my first stop last Wednesday was – Sun City, Arizona.

I was there to visit my foster family. Well, they weren’t legally my foster family. I just lived with them when I was a toddler for a couple of years. They were friends of my parents.

It was a complicated situation.

Sun City is somewhat amusing to AGMA. It was a joke back in the 70’s with the Baby Boomers. Only the old folks went there. People who are just waiting to die. How sad…

Guess who’s living in Sun City now?

You would be correct if your answer is…

Wait for it…

Baby Boomers!

Irony is so cruel.

Second stop – Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona is absolutely gorgeous. Especially on a January day when the sun is shining on the glorious red rocks.

Good friends have recently moved into a house they have had custom built. The house has been under construction for 34 months. Yes, you read that right.

34. Months.

And it’s still not done.

The reasons are complicated.

And it will be spectacular when it’s finished.

The view is already spectacular. The picture above is what I awoke to every morning.

Crazy beautiful.

Third stop – Tucson, Arizona.

Tucson and I go way back. I transferred to the University of Arizona in 1973 as a junior.

Waaaaaaay baaaackkkk.

I met Hubs the first week I was there in 1973. That was nearly 47 freaking years ago.

Holy crap!

Does anybody else think that this whole passage of time thing is a bunch of bullsh*t?

Thank you…

Tonight, I took my mother-in-law out to dinner. And her daughter, my sister-in-law. I haven’t seen them in 3 years.

It’s complicated.

And Hubs is safely ensconced at home in Atlanta because he didn’t want to deal with the multiple issues between he and his mom. But I get it.

Complicated.

AGMA will have to say dinner went as well as I think it could have gone.

Afterwards, I went to an iconic Tucson restaurant/bar for a drink to help steady my nerves. Casa Molina. The bartender was very sympathetic and made me the most amazing skinny Margarita I’ve ever had.

So I am writing this under the influence.

Don’t judge me.

Casa Molina is a Tucson institution. It’s the same restaurant/bar that Hubs went to in the mid-70’s with his fraternity advisor/mentor, Danny.

AGMA could go on about Casa Molina and Danny and his Mexican heritage and his incredible influence with young men at the University of Arizona at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in the 1970’s, but I won’t.

It’s just a place that has meant a lot to Hubs and AGMA from ages past.

I’m here for another couple of days. I have a couple of friend from “the good old college days” who still live here that I am going to connect with. I even have a friend from my former life in Ohio (my kids 4th grade teacher!) who retired in Tucson. He and I are meeting for pancakes tomorrow.

Interesting connections.

But AGMA won’t be seeing a dear friend the I’ve always visited on returning because he passed away too young in 2018.

This a complicated visit for AGMA with complicated emotions.

And I’m thankful for strong Margaritas.

Cheers!

Steampunk, penguins and earthquakes

This is why AGMA will never be a travel blogger.

It’s taking me longer to get the posts done on our trip to Fiji/NZ than the entire trip lasted.

AGMA’s a bit like a hyperactive puppy.  All kinds of things (squirrels, squeak toys, etc.)  distract me and cause me to run amok for a spell.

(The etc. being devastating Austrian wildfires, the assassination of a high ranking Iranian official in a neighboring country, and the potential start of WWIII.  And Christmas and New Years – but they seem a pretty minor compared to everything else aside from the squirrels and squeak toys.)

I WILL finish the saga of the Great AGMA Adventure to the lands of Fiji water and Kiwis!

9.  Oamaru.  Oamaru is generally not on the radar when most folks think about visiting New Zealand.  But AGMA thinks it should be.  First of all, it’s the Steampunk capital of the world.  Yeah, I said Steampunk.  S-T-E-A-M-P-U-N-K.  Very surreal. Second, it’s one of the few towns in New Zealand that still has its original Victorian architecture and it’s gorgeous.  Third…PENGUINS!!  Cute, adorable little blue penguins (also known as fairy penguins.).

But oh Lordy…that Steampunk thing…

 

 

10. Christchurch.  AGMA and hubs were in Christchurch for the first time in 2014.  We were shocked to see that the city had barely begun to recover from the devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.  Unsafe, unstable buildings still stood in the CBD.  All over the CBD.  I remember a parking garage that had cars in it that had been sitting, parked in the same spot they were in when the last quake hit 3 years before, because the structure was too damaged to safely be able to remove them.  But you could tell that the people of Christchurch were determined to see their city come back better than before the quakes.

And AGMA’s happy to report it has!

Other than a few sites we recognized on our first trip, it was like visiting a totally different city.  New office buildings, lots of gravel lots where old buildings used to be, cute laneways with kickin’ good restaurants and bars, new shops, and some buildings severely damaged in 2011 that were still sitting abandon.

We stayed spent the night outside of Christchurch at an AirB&B in the caldera of an extinct volcano turned inland bay.

We flew out of Christchurch on 12/5 with a 4 hour layover in Fiji then on to Los Angeles.  We landed 3 hours before we took off…  That International Date Line screws with AGMA’s head.  Spent a couple of nights in LA visiting a friend then headed back home.

As Dorothy chanted, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.”  She was right.

Thanks for hanging with AGMA while I chased those squirrels.

And between 3 international trips, the upcoming presidential election (if we haven’t been nuked before then as a result of tRump’s psychotic madness), the grandkids, and the possibility of selling our house, I think 2020’s gonna be a wild ride…

Hang on!

P.S.  Happy birthday to me!  Today Mrs. Mowry’s little girl completes yet another trip around the sun.  Now I’m one number shy of the mark of the beast (just need to add another 6) so nobody better give me any sh*t this year!  🙂

 

 

Extreme sports, dark skies and lupins

For those who celebrate Christmas, we’re in that purgatory between Christmas and New Year where nobody quite know what day it is, where they are or what they’re supposed to be doing.

It’s a perfect time for a blog post!

I promised the rest of New Zealand, but after the franticness (is that a word?) of the past 3 weeks, it seems like our trip was a long time ago.

Funny how time has a way of doing that.

When you read the words “extreme sports”, I know that AGMA is the first person that comes to mind.  Just like tRump is the first person that comes to mind when you read the words “honesty and integrity” right?

AGMA has a very strong sense of self preservation.  Because of that, I’ve never really done anything even remotely dangerous.  Unless you consider not putting my seatbelt on in an Uber as living on the edge.

And sometimes it is.

But on this trip both hubs and I caught the New Zealand extreme sports bug and indulged in activities outside of my itty bitty, teeny weeny comfort zone.

(FYI, each picture has a caption.  If you want to read it, just hover over the picture.)

After visiting Middle Earth, we finished our visit on North Island in…

5. Auckland.  A beautiful city sitting inside the innards of multiple extinct volcanos.  Or so they say…  And quite a diverse city with wonderful energy, great restaurants and a beautiful harbor.  They have this tall structure in the CBD (just 1 1/2 blocks from our AirB&B) called the Auckland Sky Tower.  It’s kinda like the Seattle Space Needle.  And hubs decided to jump off of it.  Jump.  OMG.  192 meters (630 feet) straight down.  Of course he was in a harness and it was all super safe, but he still had to step off a ledge into a free fall (for the first 1/2 of it).  OMG. AGMA stayed at the bottom and watched.  Call me a chicken, but at least I had clean underwear at the end of the day!

6.  Blenheim.  We flew from Auckland to Nelson (on the South Island) and immediately hopped into our rental car (sadly, because Nelson looked very cool!)  Destination,  Blenheim, at the heart of the famous Marlborough wine district.  There’s a lot of sauvignon blanc there and somebody had to drink it!  On the way (which was incredibly scenic over unexpected mountains), we stopped in Havelock, the self proclaimed green lipped mussel capital of the world.  Who knew?  These mussels are MASSIVE and put US and European mussels to shame.  Kinda like tRumps imaginary brain.

7.  The Wild West Coast of South Island.  Going across South Island on the way to Greymouth on the beautiful west coast, we drove along the gorgeous Buller River.  In keeping with the extreme sports theme hubs inaugurated in Auckland, we opted to walk across the Buller River swing bridge and come back across via a zip line.  Okay, so maybe those just a demi-extreme experiences, but for AGMA it was cray cray!  A seal colony in Westport, the fascinating Pancake Rocks, and gorgeous coastal scenery are just some of the reasons we would LOVE to go back to the west coast to do more exploring!

8.  Lake Tekapo.  AGMA was pretty excited about our drive to Lake Tekapo.  It was going to take us over the Southern Alps through Authur’s Pass National Park.  This is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world.  “Supposed to be” being the operative phrase.  Unless it rains.  And is foggy.  Like it was the day we did the drive.  Damn.  It was still lovely even in the fog and rain, but I feel like I need to go back someday to see it in the sunshine.  But the incredible beauty of Lake Tekapo helped heal our broken expectant tourist hearts.  And the lupins.  So many lupins.  And the night sky.  Tekapo is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve which is the worlds largest dark sky reserve.  Clear skies and few people along with strict regulations on exterior lighting results in some of the most amazing dark skies in the world with (to quote Carl Sagan) “billions and billions of stars”  The opportunity to do the Summit Experience at the Mt. John Observatory, I think, was the main reason we returned to New Zealand.

Okay – so I’ve been at the coffee shop for 3 hours now and AGMA’s pretty sure they are going to kick me out. There are a few more highlights, soooo…it looks like there will be one more post on New Zealand.

Sorry.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to figure out what day it is, where I am and what I’m supposed to be doing.

A typical day for AGMA.

Sparkle on!

AGMA’s out of control…

So much to do; so little time.  Getting back from our trip on 12/7 has given me a massive holiday headache.  Ouch!

The 2nd New Zealand travel post needs to simmer until after the holidays.

Until then, ya’ll can be mildly amused by my holiday post from 2014.  Was true then; is true now.

Glitter.  Everywhere.

Merry, merry!!

The AGMA Christmas Card Conspiracy Theory

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I think I’ve figured it out…  I know how the Chinese are going to take over the world.  Or at least the parts of the world that send glittery greeting cards

I wonder if anybody will believe me?

Last year, I bought some 75% off holiday cards after Christmas to send this year.  Yeah – I’m cheap.  I liked them because they have pretty sparkles.  They were made in China.

I bought some extra Christmas cards a few weeks ago because I needed more.  They also have pretty sparkles on them.  They were made in China.

Most of the Christmas cards I’ve received this year so far have pretty sparkles on them.  I checked the backs of each card.  They were made in China.

My sister has a late December birthday.  I bought a birthday card for her that has pretty sparkle balloons over the birthday cake on the front.  You guessed it –  made in China.

Hmmm – now I’m not the sharpest needle in the haystack, but I think I’m seeing a common thread…

Think about it.  As soon as you take those cards out of the box, those damn sparkles go everywhere.  I opened a sparkly card last week on the kitchen counter near the phone.  Later in the day, I found sparkles on our cooktop which is across the room.  Huh?

Accident?  I don’t think so…

We have cats.  The sparkles get on the floor.  Our cats daintily prance through the errant sparkles on the floor getting them on their paws.  They’re now carriers.

The sparkles get on the kitchen counters.  All over the kitchen counters.  The cats aren’t allowed on the counters.  Yeah – right. Telling a cat “No!” works so well…

So their paws end up covered in sparkles.  At this point, because cats will not be denied access anywhere, you start finding sparkles all over the house.   Literally, everywhere.  Really, in places that would shock and surprise you.

And I realized – it’s all an ingenious, insidious plot.  They’re using our pets against us to spread the sparkles.  It’s like something you’d find on The Sci-Fi channel.

“What’s there to fear from a few ill placed sparkles?” you ask.  Other than you don’t feel like sparkles in your morning coffee.  Or your scrambled eggs.  Or stuck to your boob.

It’s “just” sparkles now my friends, but what about next year?  Or the year after?

Scientists are already working on making graphene practical for use in computers and everyday electronics.  In case you don’t know, graphene is a carbon sheet only one atom thick.  It’s the new miracle substance that is supposed to revolutionize the electronics industry because it conducts electricity 100 faster than the silcone.  Stronger than steel but flexible, it’s a nano-sized superconductor.  Seriously, this stuff if pretty darned amazing.

But one atom thick?  Gosh, that’s teeny, tiny, itty-bitty.  Small enough to fit on something really tiny.  Really tiny like – oh, I don’t know – a sparkle maybe?

And so it begins…

Again, I’m not the fastest pony in the stable, but sometimes I can connect the dots.

Today it’s a sparkle.  Tomorrow it’s a digital communications tool the size of a piece of glitter stuck to your ass beaming all of your junk over to the Chinese version YouTube.

Merry Christmas Beijing.

 

Incredible journeys

socks

Hubs and AGMA are hitting the road again. Finally.

We haven’t been on a long trip since May. I’ve been getting antsy.

Ya’ll know how I am…

We leave in almost exactly 48 hours. I have yet to do any serious packing. And I have an all day job tomorrow. Not the best job of planning on my part.

I did start pulling a few things together earlier in the week. Essentials like socks and underwear. The “base layer” some might call it.

There was much sighing as AGMA went through my sock drawer and came across several single socks. These are socks whose mates are long gone, sucked into that purgatory where naughty single socks are banished as punishment, never to return to the land of light.

Why do I keep single socks without a mate?

Who knows… Maybe to keep the memory alive of what a beautiful pair it and its significant other made. Maybe I’m holding out hope that the missing sock will enter the Narnia closet and come out back home in AGMA’s sock drawer. Maybe I’m just sentimental.

Whatever the reason, I can’t risk getting rid of the left behind sock lest its partner in crime magically reappears and I’m stuck with a single sock again.

Oh – what cruel irony that would be…

Then there’s my earrings. Oh, my earrings! The same alien force that transports my socks away from their mirror twin, also seeks to break up the unified bliss of my earrings.

And when it’s a pair of earrings that I REALLY like, I hold tightly on to the one that remains in hopes of a joyous reunion someday. In some cases, I’ve been waiting for a very long time for that reunion. 20 years ago, AGMA got an extra pierce in one of my ears to hold my single remaining diamond stud of the set that was gifted to me by Hubs a few years before.

I won’t give up on it finding its soul mate.

Perhaps I think it’s like that old Disney movie, The Incredible Journey, where a stylish black and white running sock, a thick brown wool sock and a shiny silver dangle earring are trying as hard as they can to get home despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles during the 365 mile trip from Cincinnati to Atlanta.

Or every Toy Story movie ever made where Woody and the gang face unmentionable dangers trying to get back to their adorable owner of the moment.

They are all out there somewhere trying to get back to AGMA.

In my heart, I just know they are.

In the meantime, I need to get my arse in gear packing for our 3 week trip through 4 different climate zones. In a carry on.

Which is why this post shorter than the normal AGMA-dribble.

I have my work cut out for me today.

Hopefully AGMA’s next post will be from the other side of the world in a different hemisphere where the water goes counterclockwise in a sink, the national rugby team does a ceremonial war dance before each game, and the skies are so dark at night you can see to the far end of the Galaxy.

I think it will be an incredible journey!

P.S. Don’t even get me started on plastic storage container lids…

White House wedding?

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Every now and then, AGMA likes to review my WordPress spam folder to see what mischief some of the folks out there are up to.

I don’t have any special WP spam blockers like some of you.  I like to see the unfiltered messages of my adoring public.

AGMA must not be on the radar of the “really” fun people anymore because of late, my WP spam has been pretty boring.  Mostly because I can’t read any of the languages of this segment of my fan base.

I did however, receive a VERY heartfelt message from Zana in my email last week titled, I believe that there is my love in this world somewhere, could it be you? :

“Hello, from the first lines of this letter I only intend to explain to you that I really dream to meet a faithful man who will not just be a
husband for me, but a true friend, a passionate lover and possibly a papa for our future kids.
I really want to create a family based on love, good understanding as well as care and attention. It really is also really essential to have common ideas and needs about lifestyle.
Please, write me, what are your favors and dislikes, what are your personal motivations.
Do you have any dreams you have and exactly what your plans in the future??
If there is anything you don’t want to write to me right now, I am going to understand, don’t
worry. And of course, i will tell you everything about me personally u would like to find out!
And now i wish you all the best. i will be patiently waiting for your mail.

P.S! I am 28 years old and also im from Kiev, ukraine.
What is your age and exactly where you from???”

Sigh.  Just a gal looking for her Prince Charming…

You gotta believe in the magic of true love after reading that.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’m not a man.  And I’m already married.

AGMA’s thinking that maybe I can be her advocate by forwarding her email to some folks I’ve heard spent a lot of time in Ukraine.  I bet Rudy Giuliani and his wacky buddies can help her out.

At the very least, maybe RG can show this to the Big Orange Cheeto currently squatting in the Oval Office.  Melania’s turns 50 next year.  Based on his matrimonial history, BOC is surely ready to trade in her in for a newer, younger model.

(Ha – model – get it?  I crack myself up!)

I bet he can get Zana a genius visa (like he did for Melania, widely known in her country as the Genius of Slovenia) and she’ll be ready to take up residence in the White House faster than you can say Maria Yovanovitch!

Zana even writes like tRump.  All those missing letters, lack of punctuation and bad grammar.  And I’m sure RG and his band of merry Ukrainians can convince her that she has some dirt on Hunter Biden.

Get her a Twitter account and it’s a match made in heaven.

It’s been a long time since there’s been a good old fashioned White House wedding!

Putin will be the best man and Paula White can officiate (of course, after everybody invited to the wedding sends her their stock dividends from the last year.)  There will be a cat fight between Kellyanne, Sarah and Ivanka as to who will be the matron of honor.  I predict that the groom will choose Ivanka, secretly wishing he was marrying her…

How glorious it will be with hamberders and covfefe for all!

Tricia Nixon Cox, eat your heart out!

 

 

 

Yesterday

Back when AGMA was a young 20 something, I worked for the C M Paula company in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The company name may not sound familiar to you, but I KNOW all of you of a certain age will be familiar with what they made back in the day.

cmpaula

They were called Whatchamacallits!  Remember those?

I was a 23 year old newlywed and worked in the office doing some sort of administrative work.  Along with some women my age, I worked with Rose and Vera who were in their 60’s at the time.

They were a hoot!

Rose was snarky and funny.  I think AGMA now is a lot like Rose was back then!

And some 42 years later, I still remember that Vera’s husband was named Howard.  I don’t think I ever met Howard, but Vera entertained us with stories of Howard’s exploits which were always entertaining.

They had been married for over 40 years and she still adored Howard.  But Vera would say that she felt like she was born married and we all laughed.

AGMA’s not laughing anymore.

Hubs and I celebrated 42 years of marriage last month.

Hubs was never one to celebrate things like birthdays or anniversaries, so over the years AGMA has virtually eliminated any expectations of any type of celebration for either.  To the point that now the thought of making a big deal out of a birthday or anniversary makes me uncomfortable.

Exchange cards and let the day pass with a minimum of fuss is sort of my mantra for surviving the day.

So for our 42nd, we exchanged cards, went out to dinner at one of our “regular” places and then came back home and watched a movie.

But we paid $5.99 to rent it…

I know – we’re a wild crew.

But AGMA can’t quit talking about this movie!

The name of it is Yesterday and it’s such a clever, original premise.

The story centers around a struggling singer/songwriter who is about to give up on his career.  A 12 second blackout occurs all over the world.  He’s on his bicycle when the blackout happens and gets hit by a bus.

When he gets home from the hospital, his friends give him a guitar because his guitar was obliterated in the crash.  They ask him to sing a song so he starts singing Yesterday by The Beatles.  His friends are mesmerized.

When he’s finished, they ask in wonder when he wrote that song.  He’s confused and upset because he thinks they are playing a practical joke on him.

Slowly he comes to discover, in the world after the 12 second blip, The Beatles never existed.  He is the only one who remembers them and their songs.  Or is he?

Fascinating right?

And it just gets better from there.  Lily James is his sort of love interest/best friend, and musician Ed Sheeran and comdeian Kate McKinnon are also in the movie.

It’s a highly enjoyable, light RomCom.

But it touched AGMA a bit deeper that a normal movie of this sort.   It had distant echos of It’s A Wonderful Life.  Sort of a “what would life be like if…”

An appropriate movie to celebrate a 46 year relationship and a 42 year marriage that has not always been smooth or easy.

I sometimes wonder what my life would be like had I turned around and walked out of that college cafeteria in 1973 as was my first impulse.  The line was long and I was hungry (some things never change!)  I turned around to leave, then thought about it, turned back and got in line.  Hubs was in front of me in line.  I thought he was cute. We struck up a conversation, when on a date that night and the rest is history.

What if AGMA had not turned back and just walked out?  It was a huge state university so the odds of me coming across Hubs again would have been very remote.

Where would I be living?  What would my career have been?  Would I have gotten married?  Would I have had more children or none at all?  Would I be happy?

Something inside me told me to turn around and get in that cafeteria line.  Was it fate?  Divine guidance?  AGMA won’t know in this life.

This past weekend, we visited TMWGITW (the most wonderful grandchildren in the world) for V’s 3rd birthday party.  My younger son came up from Atlanta for the party as well.  It was a wild and wonderful weekend!  AGMA’s still exhausted…

As I recall watching and enjoying  my children and grandchildren, I know, in hindsight, that this is the only life I would have ever wanted.  Or been happy living.  Despite the struggle.  And that AGMA wouldn’t be who I am today (and am pretty content with) without the struggle.

Sweet and wise Vera, I know you are no long on this earthly plane, but where ever you are now, I get it!!

P.S.  See Yesterday!  It’s a really lovely movie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diva legs

marathon legs

The conversation went something like this past Sunday:

AGMA:  I really need you two to try a bit harder.

Legs:  Ahem – lady, we’re going as fast as we can.

AGMA:  Look, I gained 3 pounds carb loading since Thursday and hydrated like a pro for the past two days just for you.  And I’ve been doing a great job taking in nutrition on the run. You two have everything you need to go faster.  So what’s the deal?

Legs:   Yea – thanks for doing all that, but we already told you…we’re moving as fast as we can.  Seriously.

AGMA:  I admit I didn’t have the best training season this winter.  My 23 mile training run was a long 6 weeks ago.  But I did 18 miles two weeks ago.  That’s gotta count for something!

Legs:  Well, that could actually be part of the problem…   Six weeks was really too long ago for your long training run.  We know you tried to make it up a bit with the 18 miler, but two weeks really isn’t quite long enough for us to fully recover from that.  We’re still a bit undertrained and tired.

AGMA:  Complain, complain, complain…

Legs:  You can’t get away with that stuff at your age.  You’re not 35 anymore you know.

AGMA:  Ouch!  That hurts!

Legs:  How ironic…we’re hurting right now too.

AGMA:  But ya’ll did so well in Chicago last year.

Legs:  For heaven’s sake – that was 12 months ago!  You were 8 lbs lighter, Ms. Chunky, when you ran Chicago, it was cooler and Chicago is a pancake flat course.  By the way, what the hell is with these hills today??  Did you know there were going to be hills in this run??

AGMA:   Kinda…  But seriously, you both need to pick up the tempo.  I really wanted to finish with a time around 6 hours and 30 minutes.  At the rate you’re both going, I’m not gonna do it.

Legs:  Oh boo hoo…now that’s a real 1st world problem right there. Do we need to remind you that you are running today, against our advice, while you have a raging cold.  We mean, who does that??  We tried to tell you this morning not to get up and run.  But nooooooo…..

AGMA:   OK – you don’t need to remind me.  Trust me, I really wanted to turn the alarm off this morning, take some cold meds and go back to sleep.  But three other people are doing this race because I talked them into it.  I couldn’t not show up at the start.

Legs:  Uh…yes, you could have.  But that’s beside the point now.  We’re over 22 miles into this thing.  We promise you we’ll finish, but it’ll be on our terms.  Got it?

AGMA:  Good grief.  I’m totally dealing with a couple of divas.  But, okay, I guess…

Legs:  Glad to see that you’re being more reasonable.

AGMA:  But when I cross the finish line, can I get some action down there?  Like prancing or leaping or maybe a little dance?

Legs:  Bitch

(The Legs did indeed keep their promise and finished the 26.2 miles in a very slow 6 hour 41 minutes and change.  AGMA was grateful to them that they enabled her to finish her 7th marathon. And, despite their petulance, they did provide several leaps at the finish then proceeded to ache for the next 3 days to spite her. )

 

Bargains

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Everybody loves a bargain, right?

I know AGMA does!  I’ll always be the first in line for a “value” deal.

So, I was an early fan of Groupon way back in 2009.  Groupon started in Chicago in 2008, and rapidly expanded to reach a global audience.

For the 3 of you who might not be familiar with Groupon, it’s a service that offers group discounts to save money on goods/services through virtual coupons.  You pay $$ for a goods/services specific Groupon but then get a substantial discount on the item/service you are purchasing.  So, for example, I can get $30 worth of food at a local restaurant by using a Groupon I bought for $12.

Back in the early days, there was one – count it – one (1) Groupon offered per day in the Atlanta market.  And they were very popular.  Very.

I remember deals selling out an hour after the they were announced, because the vendors limit on how many could be sold.  Now I think there are literally thousands of deals on any one given day in cities all over the world.

Obviously, competitors popped up over the years – LivingSocial, Yipit, Woot, Scountmob, to name a few.  And there are local, city specific businesses offering a similar service.  In Atlanta we have Atlantaonthecheap, LoafDeals and HandPickedAltanta.  I’m pretty sure that some of these are not stand alone companies – they are owned by the larger, national companies.

You know how that works…

Because the vendors that offer these discount deals through these virtual coupon companies have to split the income received for the sale of the coupons with said virtual coupon company, they end up getting very little money for the goods/services purchased by the consumer.  So in my example above, the restaurant might only get $6 of the $12  paid for the Groupon.  But the vendors obviously consider it a good way to promote their goods/services.

I guess…

Most deals have expiration dates on them, but have wording saying that the value the consumer paid for the coupon never expires and can be used at the vendor’s business.  So if I let my $12 deal for $30 worth of food at the local restuarant expire, I can still dine at that restaurant and use my virtual coupon for $12 off my meal.

AGMA is convinced that a huge part of these Groupon-type companies’ income streams is from those of us who buy these discount coupons and never use them.

Ever.

But seriously, who hasn’t been tempted to try an ionic foot detox offered at a business across town because it was just SUCH a good deal?  And of course everybody’s feet could use a good detoxing.  But then it’s just so hard to carve out the time to do something that is pretty far out of the norm for you in a part of town you’re not all that familiar with.  And your good friend didn’t buy one when you suggested it and now you have to go alone.   And you’re really not sure what they’re going to do to you.  So you end up not going and the deal expires and now you for sure won’t drive across town to use the $15 credit you have for a $55 iconic foot bath.

Sadly, this was AGMA when this whole virtual coupon craze started.  But with age comes wisdom. I’m very selective of what I buy now.

However I need to share one of the recent deals I purchased. And used.

It’s just sooooo quintensenntial AGMA.

I run, but doesn’t do much else in the way of exercise.  A few years ago I bought a deal for 1 month at a gym that was about 5 miles away.   The gym had a water rowing machine and I fell in love.

Hard.

I went twice a week to use that sweet rower.  I lost weight and my tummy was starting not to look like I was 3 months along with twins.  But the month expired and I had to break off the relationship.

Fast forward to 2 months ago when a deal popped up for rowing classes at a place only 3 miles away.   I jumped on it.  AGMA was gonna fall in love again.

In addition to rowing classes, they also offer silk aerial classes and those pole exercise classes that is all the rage with the young’uns these days.

I went for the first 3 classes during the day and the studio was pretty quiet.  The rowing machines were in the aerial space.  But I did get to see the pole studio which looked…

Interesting.

Anyway, I got back into my rowing groove.  And I decided that I like sort of doing my own thing rather than a “class”.  But I had one more class left on my “deal”, so I booked it for last Monday evening.

The studio really buzzes in the evening!  A bunch of young, very fit young ladies were milling about waiting for their class to start (NOT rowing…).  Then a woman, who obviously worked there, walked out from the pole studio with 6 inch chunky heeled red shoes, red hair piled on her head, a red baby doll nighty that came down to mid hip, and a thong.

And both cheeks were just a shinin’ like the moon!  And the moon was definitely full…

She was complaining because the air conditioner was dripping into the studio.  Nothing like a bit of reality to interfere with your exotic dance lessons.

And there was AGMA, looking like the frumpy plump sorority house mother to all of these supple and fit young things who were getting ready to swing their stuff around a pole and on aerial silks.

Ah….if only I was 40 years younger.  And my moon wasn’t ready the size of Jupiter.

And speaking of that general “area”, if anybody’s interested, there was another deal – through Living Social – that caught my eye last week.  It was for Vaginal Steaming Sessions.

Yup.

I’ll just leave it up to you to use the Google.

$29 for 1 session; $55 for 2.

Get ’em while they’re hot.