Monday, December 28, 2009

Get ready to look SO GOOD! OR Weight just a minute!

It's almost New Years and that means resolutions! Like every previous year I am resolving to lose weight but this year is different. This year I know the secret to permanent weight loss and I'm going to share it with you!

Ready? The secret to losing weight is there is no secret. It's just hard work and persistence. What a drag.

One place said, “simply replace your bad habits with good habits” like that is super easy to do. I promise that a salad is not even one tenth as satisfying as a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or some fried chicken. I also promise that running on a treadmill is not nearly as fun as watching television. Even watching someone run on a treadmill on television is funner than actually running on a treadmill. Incidentally, The Treadmill is actually a medieval torture device invented around the same time as The Rack and The Iron Maiden.

I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted until a little process called “aging” took my metabolism out into the street, blindfolded it, lit it a cigarette and shot it dead. If I eat something these days I can feel myself get fatter as I chew.

To make matters worse, the American market victimizes fat people. It sells them fatty, processed (and delicious) food until they are about to burst, tells them they are hideous at every turn and then turns around and sells them diet pills and exercise equipment. Where can my people turn? Everyone is trying to take our money.

I am NOT relieving overweight people of their responsibility for being overweight. Just because Burger King sells a 1,000 calorie sandwich does not mean that people need to buy it. Nor do people need to order said sandwich in a value meal that adds another 920 calories of fried potatoes and sugar water, bringing one meal to a grand total of 1,920 calories.

However, I AM saying that maintaining a healthy weight is very difficult.

One huge part of the economy helps people get fat while another promises to make them skinny again, all for a modest price. Throw in pharmaceutical corporations that sell antidepressants and a media that portrays impossibly underweight people on the opposite side of the unhealthy weight spectrum as ideal and there you go. Good luck, sucker!

The least these companies could do is be upfront with the people they are taking money from. For example, all exercise programs/machines/DVDs show “Before and After” people. In the “before” pictures the person is pasty and at least 100 pounds overweight, sitting on a couch, remote in hand. The “after” person is always a tanned, sexy, chiseled specimen in a leopard print bikini. For only $29.95 and as little as 8 hours a week? I think a lot other stuff happened between “before” and “after” besides the “Ab-Solution.”

Sugar also makes it hard to maintain a healthy weight. I love sugar, but it is not good for me and is brimming with empty calories. I don’t really have a problem with sugar, though. I could quit sugar any time I want! I could also feed all of the hungry people in north America, cure cancer and get healthcare for everyone.

That’s right, I can’t quit sugar. Sugar is exactly like heroin except you don’t have to inject it and the government can actually regulate and tax sugar. I could quit sugar about as easily as I could quit air. I'd die and I'd take a few suckas with me.

Wish me luck and remember: never get between me and some chocolate cake.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Coming out of the closet on Christmas OR Merry December Gorilla OR It's beginning to look a lot like Capitalism

WARNING: This blog contains the word "womb." I thought I'd warn you since that word grosses some people out. I don't know why, lots of people have them. Not me, but lots of other people do and they seem to be fine.

It’s that time of year again: winter weather, Christmas is in the air and I’m coming out of the closet.

I love winter weather, especially when it’s so cold that my ears hurt. Not just the outside part, either. Some days it’s so cold that I swear my actual eardrum is shivering, which really hurts, as you would imagine.

I love it when the snow stays on the ground, melts just enough to turn to ice and tons of people walk on it, polishing the ice to a lethal pearly sheen. It’s hilarious when other people fall, but I know that, Karmically speaking, I’m due for a fall soon. I’ve laughed pretty hard at falling people and what goes around is certainly coming around my way.

In cold weather I can never bring myself to get out of the shower. I think there is something psychologically soothing about a warm, wet, womb-like environment. While I’m in there my subconscious says to me “Stay! The last time we left a place like this only bad things happened.” The cold, cruel world waits just outside that plastic curtain.

Then there’s always a guy (yes, it’s usually a man) who invariably says things like, “Cold? This isn’t cold! I lived in Alaska for a hundred years. In ’72 it was so cold that all the water froze and we had to lick ice cubes to keep from dehydrating. My eyelids froze open and I got frostbite on both of my pinky toes. I’d be out here in my underdrawers getting a tan but I got cited last time I did that.”

In addition to hilarious ice falls and annoying dudes, cold weather is also associated with Christmas and other holidays. I celebrate Christmas because of the religious significance, but more importantly I like to get free stuff.

The trouble is not everyone celebrates Christmas. For a while it was cool to say “Happy Holidays” and that would cover everyone. People who celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Solstice, Eid al-Adha and Bodhi Day and anything else were all united by one trite greeting.

Then I found out that some people don’t celebrate anything at all. So much for “Happy Holidays.” I can’t say anything to anybody without the possibility of alienating them. I now treat Christmas kind of like “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I don’t wish people a “Happy” or “Merry” anything. Someone asked me if I celebrated Christmas and I was like, “Yeah, but I'm not out yet.”

Last year we were driving around town in December and one house had a giant lighted version of “The Abominable Snowman” from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. My sister Miranda blurted, “What is that supposed to be, a holiday Gorilla?”

We laughed hysterically but then I thought to myself, What a great idea! I decided to popularize the “December Gorilla.” The December Gorilla could represent the shared evolutionary heritage of all humankind. He would not be affiliated with any religion or previously existing holiday.

The December Gorilla would give bananas to the whole world. He would be cool with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Bhuddists, Nudists, Hindus, hippies, people that drive Hummers, vegans and, yes, even Republicans would get a banana from the December Gorilla. He wouldn’t even care if you’ve been naughty or nice. He would spread the banana love indiscriminately, regardless of race, color or creed. What could be offensive or alienating about that?

Unless you are allergic to bananas, in which case you need to find some other holiday, freak.

PS - Check it out: some people are already down with the December Gorilla!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Luddites unite! OR My super-boring meeting disrupted the space/time continuum

I was in a meeting the other day that lasted TWO HOURS. It was terrible. I’m sure whatever was being said in the meeting was oh-so-informative but whenever a meeting goes over 40 minutes I have a hard time focusing one second longer. There is a little “attention span” gauge in by brain and after 40 minutes the needle hits “E,” the little light goes on and my brain shuts down.

Part of the problem was I expected the meeting to last an hour but it lasted two. That is like going to the dentist for a cleaning and then getting both of your legs amputated!

I don't know whether it's better or worse to have a clock in plain sight at a boring meeting. In this case there were no windows to the outside and I had a clear view of the clock. After a while I started to think, The clock has stopped. It must have. I’ve been in this meeting for at least four whole weeks but the clock is only showing two hours. What is going on? Maybe time is simply standing still. The sheer boringness of this meeting has torn a hole in the space/time continuum and we are stuck in this conference room forever! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

(That is the sound my brain makes when I’m in meetings for over 40 minutes: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!)

One thing that unnecessarily prolongs meetings is the fact that most people can’t edit themselves. A lot of professionals don’t know the meaning of “concise,” “to the point” or even “short and sweet.” Some professionals just love to hear the sound of their own voice, over and over and over, whether anyone else is listening or not. They don't care. It's like a drug for them: the more they hear of themselves, the more they want to hear of themselves. Some people can express one simple idea over and over for up to 45 minutes at a given stretch. This idea could realistically be expressed in one sentence minimum or one paragraph maximum.

People should have to prepare written statements that conform to these guidelines, or we could have on of those little plastic hourglasses that used to come with board games at every meeting. When someone starts to talk the hourglass gets flipped over and the sand starts to run. When the sand runs out after one minute the speaker’s turn would be over. If they hadn’t stopped speaking of their own volition they would get cut off mid-sentence by someone else and/or shot with a paintball gun.

I would also bring a picture of people beating a dead horse and when people start droning on and on I will point to it and say, “See this? This is you. Shame on you.”

Along these same lines, office e-mails are way too long and I most certainly do not have all day to read wordy e-mails. Call me a neo-Luddite or a Protestant Luddite or whatever but I hate Twitter. I am not so vain as to suppose that people care to read whatever ridiculous thing I am doing at any given moment, nor am I so bored that I care to read what ridiculous thing someone else is doing at any given moment. However, I think Twitter is onto something with the 140 characters thing. I wish they could make all the office e-mails that way. If your e-mail is over 140 characters long you can’t send it until you pare that mess down.

I’ll stop now. I don't want to beat a dead horse.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mustache discrimination is everyone's problem OR Beware the wrath of the pash rash OR Truly a Movember to remember

Recently, as you may already know, I grew a mustache for the wonderful and inspired men’s health fundraiser called Movember. Just about the time I got used to the shock of seeing my mustached face in the mirror December rolled around, Movember was over and the mustache went about as quickly as it came.

Well, that’s not true. It didn’t come quickly at all. I grow a pretty weak mustache, come to find out. If I grow a mustache in conjunction with a beard you don’t really notice, but by itself my mustache is thin and blonde and pitiful.

I usually wear a “stubble” beard, which is sort of in fashion right now and is also a great excuse not to shave. I thought it looked pretty cool until I saw that Edward guy from Twilight wearing one on some magazine cover and I thought “The good times are definitely over.” My faith in stubble beards was again shaken when a friend started wearing one. He’s a nice guy but he wears diamond earrings and only buys his clothes from certain stores in the mall where they pay homeless people wear out the clothes before people buy them to make them more expensive. I’m not sure that’s anything I want to be associated with.

Let me just say that, in contrast, having a mustache feels kind of like having toothbrush bristles superglued to your upper lip. Not the most comfortable fashion statement, I admit. My undying respect and admiration go to the brave dudes who rock a mustache full-time, and even more undying respect and admiration goes to the spouses/girlfriends/partners of these dudes.

I’ve seen pictures of my dad and his friends back in the heyday of mustaches, carefree days before he got a real job, got married and fathered me. In all the pictures he and his friends all have mustaches. No one is un-mustached, and without exception they all look pretty legit. This of course was about 30 years ago, and I think it’s a scientifically proven fact that mustaches look exponentially cooler in the presence of silk shirts, bell bottoms and shaggy ‘70s hair.

But like everything else, facial hair styles change. The Mustache enjoyed rampant popularity in the ‘70s and ‘80s before its popularity took a drastic nosedive right around the time that “Magnum, P.I.” was cancelled.

Then somewhere along the line mustaches started to be associated with perverts, pedophiles, pimps and creeps. This is where I come in.

My moustache wouldn’t win any mustache contests (they actually have these, which is awesome) but it showed up enough for people to start mistrusting me. Mothers would clutch their children to them when I would walk by. Women gave me dirty looks. Coworkers made a disparaging mustache remarks behind my back. I got passed up for promotions. I was always getting pulled over by the cops.

It appears that I have been a victim of Mustache Discrimination. That’s right. I said it. Mustache Discrimination. No one likes to talk about it and we pretend that we’re all equal but Mustache Discrimination affects thousands of Americans each year and it’s really a crying shame. I’ve tried to tell the American Civil Liberties Union but they just hang up on me. You and I both know that Mustache Discrimination is not right and people are equal regardless of race, creed or facial hair orientation.

I ask that someone reclaim The Mustache, bring it out of darkness and restore it to its rightful throne in the facial hair pantheon.

Not me, of course, but somebody should.