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Category Archives: Gym


Hitting the movies with the hubby. We are going to see The Fighter. If you have all the Optimum services, get the rewards card. FREE movies on Tuesdays. Free is for me!

So, what song is Lisa listening to over and over again today? Here it is:

By the way, after 5 months of blogging, I finally figured out how to insert the video as opposed to the URL. LOL

Anyone else who has a blog, this question is for you. Are you all getting annoyed when you look at who viewed your blog on a specific day and it’s some ridiculousness website that you have no interest in? They obviously click on a blog and click out of it so their website shows up on your dashboard. SO annoying. I NEVER go to these other sites yet they keeping leaving their URL on mine. People PUHLEEZ! Give the trolling and spamming a rest!

I didn’t do any writing today except for here. I went back to the gym and then caught up on DVR stuff I know my husband wouldn’t be into.

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Last post Dec 20. Now that we are through the holidays and I am over the cold I had all week, I am back. LOVE LOVE LOVING my break!!! ME time!!! WOO HOO! I have been cooking, writing, reading, watching movies, going to the movies, and seeing friends. I took my mother to see Burlesque – the movie with Christina Aguilera and Cher. My mother LOVES Cher. I have taken her to every Farewell tour there has been in the NJ area. Anyway, the movie was AWESOME! If you are into theater or musical theater, go see it! I was dancing in my seat and ran out and bought the CD for my mother (Christmas gift) and I the same night. I can sing in that range and I have the song Somethings Got a Hold on Me as my ring tone on my cell. Christina has a set of pipes boy WOW! I was all into it! My mother of course loved it.

Now that 2011 is here, I did a Facebook clean out. I needed to alleviate the dead weight that was bringing me down. Some people I thought I had a relationship with but it’s like out of sight out of mind and who needs friends like that! This is going to be a good year I think. The Giants were eliminated from the playoffs which wasn’t so good for the new year but other than that, things will be great! All I have to say is GO BULLS! GO ST. LOUIS CARDS! Speaking of the Bulls, me, my hubby, and my brother are going to see the Bulls play the Nets on Wednesday at The Prudential Center. I can’t wait! Getting all my fun in while I can because once school starts up again, I go back to not having a life!

I still haven’t gotten my placement for my internship, which at first annoyed me, but you know what, whatever. I sent them an email today inquiring. It is what it is. I did find out however, that the illustrious state of New Jersey is pulling my unemployment as soon as I am finished with school. Isn’t that great? They want you to go to school to get trained in a new career but they don’t want to pay you until you find a job in that new career. Lovely. I need to get a job come May!

The holidays were low-key. A lot of family time and WAY too much eating! As I said earlier I had a cold all this week which prevented me from getting to the gym everyday like I wanted! UGH! I am starting back at the gym tomorrow. I had a nice routine going and then the holidays and this cold happened.

We are almost done with our second one act play and I have 53 word pages in the book I am writing. I need an editor and a literary agent.

Some good songs from Burlesque:


Just heard some great news. I had emailed my best friend’s brother a photography contest for Sports Illustrated. He won the Sports Illustrated photo contest, $10,000, a 7 day trip for two to the 2011 SI swimsuit photoshoot in November, as well as a 3 day stay in NY & Las Vegas for the after parties. He also won a Smart phone of his choice to document the whole thing. That’s great news! Congrats Matt!

It seems things are happening around here in good ol’ North Jersey – The hubby and I get  to have our 1st written play performed and our friend wins a big photo contest. Pretty cool.

Must be the double rainbow that was outside the window this morning!


By the time Easter Sunday 2009 rolled around I still hadn’t really had the time to digest anything. I found myself crying more about my father and just really stressed and angry. Easter morning Melissa and Frank came over before we went to dinner with my mother. When they walked in, they had french vanilla coffee for me and regular coffee for my husband and themselves. They also had a little stuffed chickie with a card attached. They handed me the chick. I just thought it was a basic little Easter gift and Easter card. When I opened up the card, it was written as if Melissa’s and Frank’s unborn daughter had written it. At this time I was calling her G. The card called me auntie and asked if I wanted to be her Godmommy and she promised she would always be good and that she loved me. It was absolutely what I needed. I wanted to be this little girl’s Godmommy so bad! I was hoping I would get asked and I did. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I love you Alexa Capri!


Sorry there was a lapse in time. I started classes. Today as a matter of fact was my first day interning at a local high school. I will elaborate on being back in college at a later time. Oh boy, I am definitely not used to getting out of bed at 5:10 a.m. The school’s first bell is at 7:20 a.m.

March 20, 2009 – Time for court! My husband and I arrived in a downtown urban area where the court was housed. We walked four blocks to the court building, took the elevator up, and entered the waiting room. The court was PACKED. It was like a sardine can in there. I couldn’t believe all the individuals there for the same reason. Since there wasn’t any room, we stood up against the wall near the entrance and waited for our attorney. When she arrived, she took us into the actual court area we were seated and waited for our case to be called. Supposedly the trustee we were assigned was a real hard ass. When our case number was called, the trustee asked if counsel was present. We approached the table and answered all his questions. He was actually very nice to us. My attorney was shocked at how well he treated us. We explained everything. He had a copy of our Quickbooks. It was very easy to see how much money we lost from this lemon. Listening to him read back our situation left a sour taste. We were sitting with him no more than 10 minutes. He concluded our meeting by saying, “I am assuming you wouldn’t be here if it had not been for this business, correct?” We answered, “correct” in unison. That was it. Our attorney bought us lunch and we left our future in the trustee’s hands. It was another waiting game.

In the next month and month and a half we received news on both fronts. My test scores had come in to ETS Testing Service and we received a letter in the mail from the district court. Nervously I logged into the test site. I clicked on test scores and up they came. WOO HOO! I passed! I got a 164. In order to get a Certificate of Eligibility, a score of 162 had to be obtained.  

When my husband got home from work we opened the letter from the Bankruptcy court – DISCHARGED! The feeling was unbelievable. It was like having an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders. Bye Bye Albatross! We craved a fresh start and now we were going to finally have the chance to get one. One can only watch The Secret so many times!

When I received my Certificate of Eligibility in English in the mail, I started to submit resumes for a Teacher of English position to various districts. I even submitted for Teacher Aide positions. I had two interviews for an Aide’s position out of the 30 something resumes I sent out. This is another situation one has to laugh at. I wonder if people even look at resumes before they call you in.

The Alternate Route path was not working out. A friend of my husband’s who is a principal told him for every position open, the district was receiving 200 resumes. He also said that when he received resumes he separated them into 3 piles – Experience, No experience, and Alternate Route. If someone was alternate route, he didn’t even bother with the resume. Apparently student teaching was a very important component to most districts. That prompted a discussion with my husband about applying to college and getting the certification the standard way. I hadn’t been in college since 1999. Now at 34 I was applying to go back.


During the week we lost Tweetie, we shut down the franchise. Another domino down. We had met with our bankruptcy counsel and had the petition filed. This was our third attorney. She was a very get the job done and matter of fact individual. She advised us not to notify our employees, clients, or landlord we were filing bankruptcy and shutting the business down. She wanted us to just put a note in the window or have the locks changed. While I agreed with not notifying the landlord, I didn’t agree with not notifying the clients. We set a date of February 6, 2009 to shut the doors for good. I typed up a letter and mailed them out to all the clients on a Friday. I also contacted all the employees and said we were going to have a meeting Saturday after we closed at noon. By the time we got to the gym Saturday morning, all the employees had already found out because the first thing some of the clients did when they got their letters was of course call “Devri” and complain. When my husband and I explained our personal situation, how we couldn’t do it anymore, how the corporation was of no help, how our attorney advised us to not even give notice and how losing my father put a lot in perspective, “Devri” responded with a VERY selfish comment. But what else was new . . . This woman had the audacity to say to us “I wish you would have told me this the other day. My husband is in Italy. I purposely didn’t go because there wasn’t anyone to work. I sacrificed the trip. I could be in Italy right now.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My response? “Um well, I just lost my father so no disrespect to you, but I really wasn’t thinking about people’s vacations.” Pardon my French, but what balls! To add to her character flaws, she had the nerve to steal supplies that WE purchased in addition to member folders in order to pass them out to those that wished to go to another facility. Her mentality that she ran the place continued even to the day we shut the doors. When the employees left and we realized what she did, my husband left an unpleasant voicemail on her cell phone. We called our attorney and told her what “Devri” did. Our attorney said we could have filed a police report. We decided against that because we still had to live in the next town over. We put a “Closed due to bankruptcy” sign on the door and left. That was the last time we ever saw the women’s fitness facility again. The albatross was slowing removing itself from our necks.

I had to have all the utilities turned off. Before I had the phone disconnected, I checked the voicemail. There were at least 6 on the machine. I only listened to one because I knew that these trust fund babies felt a sense of entitlement to know ahead of time and were only going to degrade us for doing what was in our best interest. God forbid!  The one voice mail from one of the clients said she didn’t appreciate how we did this. She said she understood why but that customers were loyal to us. Who was she kidding? The women’s loyalty was to “Devri” just like “Devri’s” loyalty was to them. They never participated in any of the promotions I had going on in terms of bringing in friends to workout or to try the circuit workout itself. It was social hour and time to get away from their husbands and be with the girls. They didn’t care if my husband and I were struggling. I think they expected us to stay open regardless.  

With all this going on, I had to make time to study for my Praxis exam which was taking place about 5 weeks after the closing of the gym. That’s all I focused on. I threw myself into studying and attending workshops for extra help. I had to keep myself busy to get my mind off everything else. During my study time, we received our letter from the court. The bankruptcy court date was a week after the Praxis. Can you see the domino pattern here?

Through all this, there was one positive. My best friend was pregnant for the first time with her daughter – My God daughter.


At this point with the garbage the Corporation was pulling, there wasn’t any way we could survive keeping this business open. The bank wouldn’t refinance our business loan, we were getting no help from the corporation, I had lost my job, and the only money coming in on my end was from unemployment. We had no choice. We had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut the franchise down. We had to file two separate bankruptcy cases – personal and business because we made personal guarantees on the franchise and the loan. Honestly we had no idea we had made a personal guarantee. We were counting on our small business consultant to be just that – our consultant and let us know what we were getting into. As I stated a few posts up, he dropped us after the meeting we had behind his back with Kevin about prepays. The first attorney never cared. She just wanted to make the firm money. Our second attorney we hired kept saying we didn’t have enough evidence or money to file a lawsuit. There was no other way out of this. We contacted a bankruptcy attorney and started the ball rolling with the corporation to shut down the franchise. Of course the corporation wasn’t returning phone calls at first with our attorney. They were trying to bleed us just a little bit more. After we received the necessary paperwork from the franchise, we filled it out, made copies of all our debts, and prepared it for the attorney.

During this time, the New York Giants had made the playoffs. This was 2009 meaning season ending 2008. The year before they had won the Superbowl. We are season ticket holders. My husband and I split the season with my father and my brothers. One thing about our family is that we are HUGE New York Giants fans. My father never went to a playoff game. His big thing he always said was he wanted to go to a playoff game before he died. It was on his bucket list. My father and I went to the playoff game vs the Eagles on January 11, 2009. Incidentally, my father had recovered pretty well from the heart attack and hospital visits. They had put a stent in, he was working out, taking his meds, and eating right. He even lost 20 pounds. Out of nowhere, he started falling into old patterns – Drinking wine every night, smoking his cigars, not going for follow-up blood work and he stopped going to the gym where he was being monitored. He chose to play racquetball instead with my uncle. Should a heart patient be playing racquetball? 

While we were on our way to our bankruptcy attorney’s office on January 22, 2009, my husband’s cell phone rang. The next thing I knew he was pulling up a side street not far from our attorney’s office. He parked the car and just kept saying,”Ok. Ok. Ok.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed it and started breathing heavy. I thought something happen to his mom who lives out in Illinois who is in her late 70s. My husband hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, “Your dad is gone.” I asked what he meant by that. He told me that the phone call he received was from my father’s best friend Dave telling him that my father passed away. My half brother who has P.D.D. (Pervasive Development Disorder) found him dead in his recliner when he got home from school. Dave didn’t want my husband to tell me right away. He wanted my husband to lie to me and say he was really sick because he thought I would lose my mind. My father’s group wanted to say when we got to his house that he got really sick and just didn’t make it. Of course my husband wasn’t going to lie to me. In any case, I was in disbelief! How could this have happened? The cardiologist said he was doing great. My heart was pounding in my chest. I texted my friends and called my mother at work.  Even though my parents were divorced and my father remarried and had two sons with my stepmother, my mother never stopped caring about him. She started yelling NO and started to cry. We turned the car around, called our bankruptcy attorney, told her what happened and we had to reschedule. My father’s friends kept calling my husband to find out where we were because individuals came to take my father’s body out of the house. My stepmother wouldn’t let them take him until we arrived to say our goodbyes. We were probably about 45 minutes away. I couldn’t wrap my brain around this.

When we arrived to my father’s house, family and friends were on the porch of my father’s house. My uncle (my dad’s half brother) approached me, hugged me, and said he was laying on the floor and it looked like he was sleeping. My husband took my hand and we went into the house. My dad’s lifeless body was in sweatpants and a t-shirt on the floor. My stepgrandmother was on one couch and my stepmother was standing up with friends. They all exited the room so my husband and I could have a moment alone with him. I stood with my arms wrapped tightly around my husband and we both talked to my father. As much as I wanted to kneel down and kiss his head or get closer, I just couldn’t. (I’m actually crying as I am typing this because I am reliving it all over again). 

To be continued  . . .


You may ask why we didn’t phone the Franchise corporation duiring all this. We did. They did NOTHING to help. It was more or less a “Too bad so sad” situation. They did not want to hear you weren’t making any money. They didn’t care. As long as they were EFTing your advertising fees and franchise fees every month, to hell with the owners who are making them this money.

My specific franchise went through 3 different local directors. We never even had one of them come to the franchise until 2.5 years into it. The woman wasn’t even our state director. She was the Connecticut director. She had never driven a NJ U-turn before and called our gym in hysterics.

At the same time, the company was coming out with digitalized equipment that would have cost franchisees $5,000.00 plus a fee every month. This company was money hungry. Anyway, when the Connecticut director showed up, I had my best employee out on the floor doing her thing while the director watched clients to see if we trained them with proper form. When the gym closed for the day, my husband and I sat down with this woman. Of course the first thing she tried to do was get us to buy the new equipment. We were like “Yeah um with what?” She got into the “You have to spend money to make money” garbage. How can one spend what one does not have? The corporation’s philosophy I was finding out from other owners was do what you have to do to get money and keep your business afloat. If that meant a home equity loan or draining your savings, so be it. If you had to borrow it, beg, steal, lie, or more or less prostitute yourself, you better do it. If owners’ franchises didn’t make money, the Corporation franchise fee goes down.  In addition, they charged this ridiculous advertising fee every month. Where the hell was the advertising? If you saw one commercial every few months that was a lot.  During this meeting with the Connecticut director, she was explaining how we should give away two month memberships with a  guest pass. She wrote down some notes and said she was going to have our regular state director come up with a game plan and that we would be getting a phone call to help us. We NEVER received a phone call. Membership just kept declining. I even tried giving away almost 100 free 2 month memberships to women in the local school district. They enjoyed the free two months but when their gift certificates expired, none of them joined. It was hopeless.

At this point, we started looking into shutting the franchise down. Oh my God you can’t even imagine what the corporation puts you through. If you break your franchise agreement, they charge you a $10,000 penalty plus all your back franchise and advertising fees for the remainder of your agreement. If you refused to pay them, a lien would be placed on your property or in our case whatever we owned. I found that if this was placed on us and we bought a house in the future, a lien would be placed on future property. The only way out of paying them their money and be totally free of this albatross was to file bankruptcy. During these discussions, higher ups kept trying to talk me into selling the gym for a penny. I’m sorry. You want me to incur lawyer fees for a transaction to sell the franchise for a penny so that the corporation keeps making money while I’m losing my shirt? As they say on ESPN, “COME ON MAN!” This is supposed to be a franchise based on religious individuals? You must be joking! Doesn’t it say in the Bible to “Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing?”


After that phone call I was beyond livid. We went back up to the bank. I started raising my voice to “Barbara” and telling her what the Assistant Director of the SBA said. It was one of those “Uh Uh” moments. She reverted back to how the business isnt making any money. At that point, all I heard was noise – think of the teacher voice on Charlie Brown. That was a dead end obvioulsy.

Months passed and our financial situation got worse. We got a phone call from our realtor. She told us she had a local woman interested in the gym and wanted to know if I could drop her off an extra key and some paperwork. Unlike “Kevin” I  provided a REAL member number list. A little background on this prospective buyer – Think Jersey Shore (tv show) looking with a British accent, what guys would call a “bangin bod,” long nails polished, a lot of makeup, VERY rich and possibly an entire bottle of perfume.  We will call her “Lizzy.” Early on our attorney called her a “tire kicker” and that is exactly what she turned out to be. She kept us on the hook for nine months. Every phone call, whether we spoke to her or her husband, they wanted more and more information and more time. The last phone call we received from them they wanted us to wait longer because they wanted to refinance their house to get extra money for the purchase. Can you even believe it? People this is my life. You can’t make this up. WHY ME? She told us they needed two months and that they wanted us to hold membership steady at the number it was at which at that point I think was about 185 members. We held steady for the two months and never heard from them. Membership started declining even more again due to members losing their jobs or what have you. When we called to get a status update and told her we had the membership steady for two months and never heard from her and how membership declined more, there was dead silence on the other end of the phone. After the silence, she again asked us to wait longer. We gave her a deadline and said if we didn’t hear from her we would have to shut the gym down because we just couldn’t do it on our end anymore.

In addition to the stress of a failing business and a strained marriage, my father was in and out of the hospital from a heart attack, additional chest pains, getting a stent put in, and bleeding. Could it possibly have gotten any worse? It did. I had a pet cockatiel for 14 years. She fell off her perch and started twitching her head. We took her to the vet and the poor bird was a nervous wreck shaking. Not sure if you know anything about cockateils but they get very attached to their owners and don’t like being in strange places. The vet gave us antibiotics that had to be administered with an eye dropper like tool. I hate vets. No offense to any out there. It’s just I have friends that have many animals and every time they took their pets to vets, it wasn’t long after that the pets passed away. My bird was never 100% again but she was ok for a while.

“Lizzy”, my father, and my bird situations happened from the end of 2007 on through almost the end of 2008. Again I said it couldn’t get any worse. Yet another domino fell. On Novemebr 15, 2008 I received a phone call from my full-time job telling me they were laying people off due to the lack of work because of the floundering economy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is happening again NOW?  While I was still working for the company, our department was taken over by a young woman, who honestly had no clue about what we did in this specific aspect. My old boss got a promotion and went to another department. A few times this new woman suggested stuff and it was like “uh yeah we already were doing that.” Anyone that is a woman and works for a woman knows how catty some of them can be especially if they feel threatened because you actually know more than they do and they are supposed to be the boss. In any case, I was once again being layed off in the midst of a failing business. Thank God for unemployment. It was at that time my husband and I had a long talk and said we had enough. That’s when we decided we weren’t waiting for the tire kicker anymore and to now more than ever get control over this.

On the same day I lost my job, I registered for the Praxis II Exam to become an English Teacher. My test was scheduled for a Saturday in March 2009. Years ago when I wasn’t really into the profession I took the test twice because I was working at the first company in another department where I was getting up at 3 a.m. and I needed to get out because it was killing me.  The two times I took the test I didn’t get the score I needed. When I took the test the first two times, I was still at that “I deserve- wooo is me” phase so I really didn’t care if I passed it or not.


Remember in the first several posts, I had mentioned leaving the new department of that one company to work part-time for my old boss? Well, thank God and what a blessing, but the company wanted to hire me full-time. I could still work from home but had to commute an hour+ or so north for meetings, training, or to make an appearance now and again in the office. That was the end of October 2007. This couldn’t have come at a better time. We were losing so much money from this fitness facility and needed the extra money. I had no desire to be at the business anymore. Membership was still dropping like flies, none of the women members were interested in helping out by having their friends join, “Devri” was still being “Devri” – a diva, complaining, self-fish etc. I HATED going there. I was depressed and felt like a fool. I blamed myself for all of this. Now with a full-time job, I had an even better excuse not to go there unless I just wanted to pop in and make an appearance or drop off supplies. Of course “Devri” didn’t approve of me, the owner, having a full-time job. It was okay for “Kevin” but not for me. Why would I want to go to a place that drove me into more of a depressed phase and recluse? If the business was thriving and I had employees and clients that actually cared about people other than themselves, I would have been there all the time. That wasn’t the case. My marriage was being strained because of our finances due to this horrible mistake and being taken advantage of by “Kevin” and crew. 

When I started working full-time, we put the business up for sale. We didn’t have the money that was needed to advertise consistently. We never had enough money to buy the business period but “Phil” was another one who was only worried about his pay day and not his novice clients. I’m not saying none of this is our fault because I could have handled myself differently after losing my job after the promotion and my husband could have stepped up and said we couldn’t do this; however that is not an excuse to be preyed on. We tried to make the best of the situation and tried to refinance our business loan that we received from “Phil’s” guy. We went to the local branch of the bank we received the loan from. When we discussed with one woman higher up in the branch, she had the ordacity to say to my husband and I, “How did you get this loan? You should have never been given it in the first place.” YA THINK? When we explained “Phil” and “Phil’s” connection, she made a call  to the branch where “Phil’s” guy worked to get his assistance. It turned out that the individual that got us the loan no longer worked for this one particular bank. Hmmmm You don’t say  . . . Maybe all his “friendly transactions” finally caught up to him.  She had us sit down with a woman in charge of Small Business loans. We will call her “Barbara.” When we explained the situation to “Barbara” she had the nerve to turn around and blame us! She told us we surrounded ourselves with the wrong people and why would they refinance a loan for a business that has negative income. UM maybe because you had a crook in your loan division that qualified us without any collateral to begin with? She told us the only way we could refinance the business loan was to default on it. Please someone out there tell me how that makes any sense. WHY would we default on a loan that is automatically withdrawn from our business checking account #1 and #2 Why would we lower our FICO scores? This made absolutely no sense to us. They wouldn’t take any responsibility. So we left. In the next couple of weeks we tried again. We tried to reason with her by telling her that we are people that stick to their commitments and want to pay our debts but need some assistance like a lower payment. SNAKE EYES! We backed “Barbara” into a corner, so what did she do now? She blamed SBA and said you cannot refinance a SBA loan. I told her we did not have a SBA loan because SBA said the particular gym we bought discriminated against men and didn’t allow loans for this purchase. She insisted we had a SBA loan. After that meeting, I called SBA. I spoke to the Assistant Director of SBA who searched every record in the SBA database. You ready for his reply? “Maam, you do not have a SBA loan. I don’t know who told you this but I hope you are documenting everything.” Oh my God it was getting worse.  I felt like “Kevin” was a dark cloud following us around puppeteering these people. The only thing we could do at that point was wait to see if maybe we could sell the business. In the meantime, we would pay down our business debts with the extra money coming in from my full-time job.   

There may be a second post tonight to continue. Keep following and checking back!