Thursday, October 20, 2011

Keeping it Simple......not so Stupid

I am sitting here, my morning off, watching the waves crashing onto the shore here in Port Credit, music playing, sipping a nice latte, putting a plan in place for the rest of my day and a few things have occurred to me.  Nothing earth shattering really, but curious enough that I feel like sharing some of my thoughts.
They have to do with simplicity.  My latte for example.  No one can deny that it is a simple drink.  Brewed espresso with hot steamed milk, all warm and foamy and delicious.  Now you may be thinking I slipped out to Starbucks or The Second Cup to order one up, but I did not.  I  made it here in my own kitchen.  That too is nothing unusual, except, here comes the simple bit.  I do not own a fancy coffee machine.  I used to at one point in my life, but I found it cumbersome on the counter and whenever people came by for dinner, I felt like I missed out on all the after dinner chat while I was stuck in the kitchen whipping up cappuccinos for my guests.  And the clean-up of said machine was a giant pain in the ass.

So, I sold it.  I bought a simpler version and kept it in the cupboard and did not offer fancy after dinner coffee drinks to my guests anymore.  But even that machine was a pain in the ass to clean.  So I got rid of it too.  Since then, for many years now in fact, I do this:  I make the coffee part in a single cup bodum.  Then, I put some milk in a glass measuring cup, pop it in the microwave, then I take this little $9.99 battery operated whipper and insert it into the hot milk and voila - luscious, foamy milk that I then add to the coffee and I have a great latte.

My point being, all these expensive machines and gizmos - are they really necessary sometimes?  I feel the same about food - the simpler the better in many cases.  Fresh natural ingredients, nothing processed, flavourful herbs and simple grilling.  I always feel better after eating food like this. 

The gym.  Another thing I think can be simplified.  The only piece of equipment I actually find entirely necessary is the treadmill. (and if I lived somewhere hot - would not need that either) The universal gym sits there,  unused for the most part, like a giant metal sculpture in the middle of the room.  I use the  hand weights, the mats, the balls and only occasionally get myself all twisted and turned about on that thing.  I don't seem to have trouble toning my body without it.  In fact, I wish it was out of there, I would have more room to do the rest of my routine.  I do use it as a surface for my towel, water bottle, keys and glasses, so I suppose you could say it has some reason to be there.  There is one guy I have seen really take advantage of it, but he is the body-builder type and unless I am overcome with an urge to look like a female Arnie, I doubt I will follow suit.

Don't get me wrong.  I have toyed with that idea.  I see those women in magazines all slick with oil and flexing their biceps and abs in teeny tiny bikinis and for a brief moment, I think, hmmm, I could do that.  Then the reality of the time investment it takes to look like that hits me and I leave that fantasy in the dark where it belongs.  I don't really want to look like that anyway.  Not that extreme.  Then, once you get there, you  have to keep it up, or you know what happens.  I have seen those supermarket tabloid shots of what Arnie looks like now that he isn't pumping iron anymore - that is scarier than the toned terminator - no thanks.

Where was I?  I was lost in my view for a minute.  OK, right, simplicity.  Here is another one.  Cable.  Basic cable vs umpteen channels.  I watch TV for about 2 hours a week - 4 if there is a good movie or something going on in the world that I feel compelled to follow.  I wondered when I was getting set up here in my new digs if I would miss the umpteen channel thing.  I think I did once when I just assumed one of the channels I used to get was available, but I survived the moment of deprivation and carried on to live another day, so no, I don't miss it.  It's easier to figure out the bill too.  Pretty straightforward.  Basic cable ............$whatever.  I did notice underneath in fine print the words: bloody cheap bastard, but my eyesight ain't what it used to be so I can easily ignore that part.

OK, I could go on and on with other simple changes I have made in my life, but I need to hit the gym after I go outside for a simple brisk walk/run in my simple work-out top with the built-in bra (whoever invented that was genius - no falling straps) and then eat a simple lunch before I head to tennis for my weekly doubles match with the girls which I play at a very basic winter club - no pool, or fancy clubhouse or luxurious change rooms.  You just show up, enter the bubble, go to your assigned court, play a simple game - costs about a tenth of some clubs with all the bells and whistles and I found I never used all that other stuff much anyway. 

OK, signing off here from my simple HP comp....works for me.




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