Algorithms aren’t funny

Apparently math has a minimal sense of irony. That’ll teach me to do sarcastic research affiliated with my own account.

Last week I started pulling together information for a blog entry on a topic of great importance to me: workout attire. My initial ideas for the post were inspired by this insightful Redbook article, “How to Wear Workout Gear All Day.” I read the article, intrigued because I had previously thought that there was just one way to wear workout gear all day: put workout gear on in the morning and then. . . don’t change. Boom: workout gear all day.

Turns out, it was advice on how to ‘style’ workout clothing like real clothes. But, in my humble, finely-honed-and-generally-correct opinion, the advice was ridiculous. Like, ‘wear leggings with a sweater.’ OMG, finally good news on this! Someone should tell high school girls they can wear leggings all the time like pants. I anticipate that trend will be BIG. And universally flattering. ‘Wearing tennis shoes with whatever you want’–did you know that worked?! Pause for a minute to think of your growing wardrobe and how you can jump next to your toddler as he scooters way more comfortably than you would have in your heels. And I assert that an Anorak is neither a workout item, nor a work item. Even if you cuff it asymmetrically.

So, with budding insights like these, I decided to create an alternate list of how NOT to wear workout clothes–a list I think we can all agree is more important. So I began research, looking for ideas and images of some of the worst, weirdest workout outfits, gear, and trends out there. I had a good start. Like:

1. Cropped workout sweatshirts and long-sleeve shirtsReebok crop. Now, I liked cropped shirts as much as the next person: hardly at all. This is not ok, amIright? How often do you need to wear long sleeves but nothing on your stomach? Never, workout warriors. Never.

2. The other side of leggings: those paired post workout with a top that doesn’t cover your rear. Buzzfeed tried to help with the “Am I Wearing Pants?” flow chart, but a lot more education needs to be done on this topic. Learn the rules. Tell your friends.

3. Underwear as outerwear. Think of it as the slip dress of Crossfit. Like this, which is good for skiing under two other layers. But not by itself. Repeat after me: this is not a shirt. This is not a shirt.

4. Mesh: this is the new hotness in workout catalogs “to keep you cool.” Ok, with some of them that have venting in the back or knee or underarm. But companies have, as often happens, misapplied the trend and lost track of what we are trying to accomplish. This doesn’t keep you cool. Things like this and this keep creepy guys coming to group fitness classes and we need to work together to stop it right now.

5. Low crotch “jogger” pants. Fitness gear inspired by hoodlums of 1994.  Pass.  I like to be able to actually move in my workout gear. Plus, I think they are also called “harem” pants. Let’s reflect briefly on that as a society of empowered women.

I wanted *eight* things for my own list, though, to nicely parallel the Redbook article, so I ‘saved as draft’ and went to conduct more field observations at the gym. But before I could make any substantial breakthroughs, though, the magical internet advertising algorithms saw my browse history of unfortunate-looking fitness apparel and revved up its efforts to sell it to me.

So, I still don’t have items 6-8 for my list (feel free to propose in comments below, if you do!) but I see at least one ad at all times that would allow me–usually with free shipping!–to become my own worst dressed list.

Apparently math has a minimal sense of irony. That’ll teach me to do sarcastic research affiliated with my own account. I will be sure, in the future, to use MI’s persona. Just like I did back in 2013 when I needed to learn what “twerking” was (thinking of his ensuing months of article suggestions still makes me giggle).

Lessons learned. Go out there and wear your workout clothes.

Miley-Cyrus twerking day


Friends never wake up at night, except to go independently to the bathroom or quietly solve their own problems.

Our family’s semi-annual trip to the dentist was a highlight of my day. They had this new, super comfy headrest and the hygienist hardly spoke while she polished my teeth, so I could just lay there with my eyes closed. Ahh, it was a day of appreciating the dentist chair.

The rest of the day had too much crying and whining and work presentations with mathematical content. While I was cooking dinner, I reached the end of my patience–hours earlier than usual. I normally make it smoothly until second bedtime until I lose it. Today, I lost it in the kitchen at a pan of potstickers that were supposed to be dinner and got unyieldingly stuck to the pan. (I just heard that in my head as I wrote it. WTF, potstickers!? I should probably feel like a moron, but I feel mad. Instead of just calling them “potstickers,” why don’t we address the underlying problem, Trader Joe’s?) Any way, as I was throwing a seventh-grade style fit at the Asian food in my kitchen, Ella interrupted to ask me to come help her find something. Something I had JUST handed her. (Originally, I blamed her first distraction for the potsticker situation. I’ll have to reevaluate that, given the new information.)

I told her to go look by herself. Three times. She got that I wasn’t caving, so she left. Not to look; to write me a note about my behavior.

To those who don't speak kindergarten phonetic, no-vowel spelling, it says, "Friends help each other [who knows] look for things."

To those who don’t speak kindergarten phonetic, no-vowel spelling, it says, “Friends help each other [who knows] look for things.

She brought it in, hung it on the dishwasher next to me, and cleared her throat.

Friends help each other. A beautiful lesson I taught her. Or Dora the Explorer. I am an advocate of “helping.” Not maybe at earlier today in the kitchen, but going forward, I think I can get behind this new model of friendship and communication. I have sayings ready for several new signs to deck out the house:

  • Friends appreciate a good stretch of silence every so often.
  • Friends moderate their use of hand soap. Seriously, D2.
  • Friends never wake up at night, except to go independently to the bathroom or quietly solve their own problems.
  • Friends do NOT need poop assistance of any kind. Ever.
  • Friends enjoy a wide variety of music, with each song in daily moderation.
  • Friends understand and make peace with the inevitable instance we forget something when leaving the house. They never just sob “I need my ___________” over and over in the car.
  • Friends LOVE having their hair fixed. Brushed, even styled. When it is time to style it, they hold still, admire your braiding skills, and remember not to immediately practice somersaults.
  • Friends always know the location of both mates to at least one pair of shoes at all times.

Excuse me. I am off to make these signs. And look for Ella’s thing.