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Archive for January, 2011

So, on Monday I had coffee with a buddy of mind.  He is getting married, so I have to hang out with as much as possible before his wife completely takes the rest of the little remaining manhood he has left.  I was telling him that I am on a quasi “diet”.

Fried Twinkies

Fried Twinkies are a yearly offering at the Wisconsin Fair. Leave it to Wisconsin to take an unhealthy snack to a whole new level. Also home of chocolate covered bacon. Hmmmmmm bacon.

–BREAK–
OK, I am at the dentist, or actually, Brett Jr. is at the dentist.  And this older gentleman just walked up to me and said “Playing with the computer huh?” He then proceeds to tell me how he has had a computer for the last four years and how he enjoys it and can pay all of his bills online now and that he never even uses stamps anymore.  Really?  Welcome to the 21st century.  WHY OH WHY DO PEOPLE FEEL THE NEED TO TALK TO ME?  I am literally typing on my computer and giving ZERO openings for conversation.  This happens to me ALL THE TIME!  I am so pissed right now.
–END BREAK–

Anyway, I have mentioned before that I am trying to tighten things up, so I am on a minor diet.  For me dieting is simple, I cut out fast food, try to have a HUGE breakfast, decent lunch, and light dinner.  My goal is to go to bed slightly hungry.  If I want a treat, I eat it, I don’t starve myself, or completely change my diet, just make the modifications listed above and I usually lose weight.  I couldn’t tell if I have lost weight yet because I do not believe in weighing myself.  I go by feel.  This is how I think everyone should do it.  The scale is your enemy and only makes you feel bad about yourself.  Don’t do it, just go by feel, because that is the most important thing anyway.  As I was talking to my friend about this, I told him how often I get hungry when I do this, and it got me thinking about obesity in America.  How often do people feel hungry?

Some how, some way we have gotten to a point in our culture to believe that we should never be hungry.  This is especially offensive considering the millions of people who are hungry daily, but I will save that high horse for another time.  Again, I think dieting is simple, you must burn more than you take in, and that’s it and do not let anyone tell you different.  If you burn 2000 calories daily and you have a diet of Twinkies, but only eat 1800 calories worth of Twinkies daily, guess what, you will lose weight.  That’s a fact!  Will you be healthy?  Of course not, but you will lose weight.  But here is the thing, if you burn more than you take in, you will be hungry, and hungry daily.  So, how can you lose weight and NOT be hungry.  But we work so hard to never have any kind of negative feelings that it would be very difficult to lose weight if you hated being hungry.  I think this is a problem.  We as a culture believe that we should never have valleys, but strive to move from peak to peak.  This is crazy and the true inspiration of this blog.

Valleys are important.  It is important to fall.  It is important to fail.  One thing I have learned in my relationship with my wife is that it is the hard times that improves our good times.  It is the fights and the difficult discussions (which I hate by the way) that bring us to the other side.  Whenever I do what I do best (take issues and dig a Grand Canyon hole in my soul and bury them under 2 tons of concrete to never see the light of day again) things never improve.  Trying to go from peak to peak is an illusion and never works.  It is OK to be hungry, as a matter of fact it is crucial if you plan on reaching your goal of losing weight.  You may not get that HD TV you want if you are trying to get out of debt.  You may have to have that hard discussion if you want your relationships to improve.  Trial by fire is not just a euphemism, but a reality of life.  Peaks are awesome, but you must start in the valley for them to be truly appreciated.

That last line was cheezy, but true.

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I have both male and female research assistants.  As a matter of fact, most of my research assistants are female.  A couple of days ago I had a meeting with my students and I said, “Hello ladies.”  One them was male, and he was quite taken aback by my greeting.  I find it fascinating that in most cultures (I have no research to back this statement, but I believe it to be true) that if you are addressing a group, and at least one of the members of the group is male, you may address the group in “masculine” terms and that is acceptable.  Now granted, it would be better to say “ladies and gentlemen” or “hello everyone” or something more neutral, which of course would be more appropriate, but it is interesting that in most cases, if you use the masculine term, no one will be offended.  However, if you use a feminine term, I pretty much guarantee the guys will be offended.  What’s up with that?  It’s a cultural thing I know, but I am growing more and more interested in traditions that have absolutely no bearing in any thing than, “that’s just the way we do it.”

For example, despite the fact that the modern world knows that sneezes are NOT caused by demons or supernatural powers that need to be appeased upon every sneeze with a “God bless you”, it is rude to not make this statement when someone sneezes.  This is not even a religious issue.  There is not a church, nor a religion that would tell you that this is something that God requires, at least no church or synagogue that I am aware.  It makes me wonder what other traditions exist or will not exist 50 years from now.

Another cultural phenomenon that I personally support, but when I think about is still fascinating:  Do you know that in other cultures it is perfectly acceptable, as matter of fact expected, for men to hold hands when walking together?  In other cultures it is also perfectly acceptable for men to dance together.  In some places it would be considered provocative for men and women to dance together in public, yet in this country, if you walk into a place where men are holding hands and/or dancing together, guess what, you are in a gay bar.  Which means you are either a homosexual, you walked into the wrong place by accident, or you are a Republican congressman (Yeah, I just said that).

So, what’s my point?  I don’t really have one, other than the fact that we do and believe in things that may not have any basis in fact or evidence or logic.  Is that OK? Of course it is, but don’t pee on me and say that it is raining.  I’m just sayin …

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So, recently I have seen what television turns into at 2 o’clock in the morning and it is not pretty.  Normally I am not up at 2am and if I am, I am usually working.  As a matter of fact, I don’t recall watching TV in the middle of the night for several years now.  So, when I had a tummy ache Saturday night and no desire to go down to my cold basement to watch Scrubs Season 6 or play Wii Lego Harry Potter, I decided to watch some good ol’ fashion television.  I was shocked!

Let’s start the show with a little Comedy Central playing one of my favorite comics, Louis C.K.  (Check out a very funny bit from Jay Leno)  I turn on the station and get my blankets in place and get comfortable on the couch, when I hear the word F#@& and Motherf#@&er.  And I’m like WHAT!?!  I continue to listen to the comedy act on television, granted cable television, but still, NOT a Pay channel, and the cuss words are just flying.  Not a single bleep in sight.  So, it got me thinking, what else is on television right now.  And leave it to TV that gives so much and asks so little, I give you …

Shop Erotic on the Oxygen Channel.  Now, I have no idea what the Oxygen channel is or why it named after a gas necessary for animal life, but there it was hosted by two women dressed very professionally.  Had it not been for the products they were selling, like the Turbo Glider, or the Deluxe Rabbit Pearl, both of which are for females and I could not tell you what they are or what they do to save my life, but nonetheless, there they were for all the world to see and to buy, and apparently 30% off, what a bargain.  But seriously, had it not been for the products, it would have looked like any other ordinary shopping channel.  The women spoke very professionally and spoke about the special features of the new vibrating pink dildo like you would of a special grilling feature of a Foreman Grill.  When did this happen?

Nowadays, most people have at least basic cable.  And under normal during-the-day circumstances, there is nothing on basic cable that would surprise me.  Even when Comedy Central airs comics, they bleep out most of the bad words.  When did the FCC say it was OK to do anything you want after 2am?  I had no idea this was going on.  Am I appalled? Not really, but I am shocked.  I have no plans on writing my congressman, but I was quite surprised by what I was seeing on TV.  And of course, I watched for at least 20 minutes of all this, mainly because it was like watching a car wreck, I could not turn away.  And yes, I did order like 100 bucks worth of stuff, but that was purely for research.  No, just kidding, I did not order anything, but it did get me thinking about people watching TV at 2am.  If you are sitting on your couch, watching TV at 2am on a regular basis, and you don’t have an excuse like insomnia, illness, or woken up by a baby, than you might need to evaluate your life.  I won’t say reevaluate your life, because if I am speaking about you, then you probably have never evaluated your life to begin with.

Is this new training, and if so, for what?

 

So, I finally, I change the channel, and what do I see?  The Shake Weight.  

COME ON!!

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I have relatively few absolute beliefs, but one absolute belief I have is that you should never run out of toilet paper.  Toilet paper is one of the few items that if you were to go to the store right now and buy 1000 rolls, they would not go to waste.  As a matter of fact, at some point, you would have to buy more toilet paper.  So, the idea of running out of toilet paper is ludicrous.  So, nothing angers me more than to sit down for my daily constitution and to look up and see that there is no toilet paper.  Sacrilege.  This should never ever happen.  And can someone explain to me why the idea of running out of toilet paper only occurred when I started living with a woman.  What you are you ladies doing with the stuff?  Seriously, are you rolling your entire hand and making a toilet paper glove?  I’m just sayin …

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Prelude:  I am particularly proud of this year’s resolution.  So read to the bitter end if you want to know what it is this year.  It is a doozy and 99% guaranteed to succeed.  Anyhoo, you know I have been blogging since July?  If you are one of my regular readers, THANKS!  You are awesome!  I still can’t believe people read my ramblings, but I sure do appreciate it.  I plan on doing a Blog Remix before January ends, so stay tuned.

So, it is New Year 2011 and it brings my first major annoyance of the year.  You see, I try to do cardio at least once a week.  I shoot for two, but I do not hate myself if I can only get in one cardio workout a week at the Y.  I usually go when my son is at swim lessons, so it works out.  However, I hate going to the Y in January to mid February.  Why?  It is simple, New Years resolutions.

You see although I only go about once a week, I am considered a regular.  As a regular for the last couple of years I can also recognize the other regulars.  One thing I notice in January is that there is about a 100% population rise in the gym.  It is the only time that I have to wait in line for an elliptical machine.  You know what this means?  About 50% of the YMCA membership is people who only go to the gym one to one and half months out of the year.

It has got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions.  Does anyone keep their resolutions?  Why make them?  Does it give people a sense of accomplishment that they INTEND to be better.  How about just be better.  I am stepping up my workouts because I have decided I would like to live as long as possible.  You would think this is an obvious conclusion, but it’s not.  It is a new feeling ever since my daughter was born and I realized that when she turns 20, I will be 60.  I realize that in this modern medical age 60 is not old, but I think 60 is only young if you are in good shape.  If you are in bad shape, 60 is old.

A friend of mine’s father passed over the New Year’s weekend.  It was a surprise.  He died of a massive heart attack and it got me thinking, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  So, I can’t rely on New Year’s resolutions to get in better shape, or tighten up the ship (Although I did make a resolution for 2011. See below), the time is NOW.  So, if you have a desire to be better in some way or another, then make it a daily resolution, because we all fall and we all mess up.  Don’t be a yearly resolution person, because tomorrow is not guaranteed, there is only today, and even that might be cut short.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Every so often I have to take a piss in the dark.  It is usually when I go to bed late and I do not want to turn on the lights to wake up my wife or baby daughter.  Luckily for me I almost never get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  That makes me happy as it hopefully means my prostate is still about the size of a walnut.  Anyhoo, I find it fascinating that despite the fact that the toilet bowl is about a foot in diameter, there is no guarantee that I will be pee accurate in the dark.  Which brings me to my New Year’s resolution.  I will get 99% of my urine into the toilet bowl this year.  TMI?  Probably, but the penis does not always shoot straight.  I might invent a penis laser sight.  That be awesome! Who wouldn’t buy that?  I’m just sayin …

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