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When It’s Good, It’s Good, When It’s BAD, It’s Better…

Fat Fucks

Recently I was someplace, maybe I was in my truck or in Ang’s car, and saw what appeared to be two medium sized dogs fighting inside a pair of oversized sweat pants.  These pants were making their way slowly down the street, as the dog on the left seemed to be getting the upper hand on the dog to the right, and then the tables would turn, and the dog on the right would over take the dog on the left.
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Then I realized that I was not watching two medium-sized dogs fighting while trapped in a pair of sweats; I was watching a morbidly obese woman saunter down the thoroughfare, presumably towards her next feeding.

I gagged a little, yeah.

You don’t have to watch the news or hear the health warnings to realize that our country is literally crumbling under its own weight for the last thirty sum-odd years.  Obesity has been the plague of our nation the way starvation plagues Somalia, and economical instability plagues Russia.  Every country has its problems and I assume that being a nation of rollie-pollie’s sure as hell beats a nation run by tribal war lords.

It used to be that girth was a sign of wealth; the fatter you were the more money you had to spend on luxuries such as food and drink.  Look at King Henry Tudor, he weighed in at over 400lbs by the time he died of a collapsed lung and gout.  Sure, some of his weight came from sustaining a jousting injury, but back then, what did you do if you were stuck in bed all day besides eat huge turkey legs and fuck the shit out of virgin maids?henry_viii

Our country, despite its rocky fiscal 2008, has been living high off the hog since World War 2, and it shows.  Progressively, every generation since the Greatest Generation, has gotten a little bit fatter.  I don’t have numbers to support this, but be rest assured its likely true.  Why?  Because Grampy Hank didn’t have a fucking Xbox waiting for him at home every day after school.  He had a little something called “Chores.”

Kids today (as I shake my fist from my porch) are not nearly as physically active as anyone who’s 25 or older today were.  This is largely due to school budgets chopping after school sports and the advent of social internet media.  Instead of going down to the park to hang out, chase girls, climb on shit, kids as young as 11 or 12 are going right home from school, logging on to their Myspaces, Facebooks, and Twitters, and doing what kids for generations have been doing after school – gossiping with their friends about school bullshit, minus the healthy dosages of Vitamin D and the basic physical activity of simply loitering.
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It’s a shitty state of affairs when while watching Sunday afternoon football I see an ad urging kids to play outdoors for a minimum of 60 minutes a day.  Holy Hot Fuck.

Ang and I are not planning on having kids, but let’s say we were – I’d absolutely refuse to allow my children to come home from school and log on to a glowing screen.  Fuck that.  Unless that kid has a project or paper due the next day, his ass is changing out of his “school clothes” into his “play clothes” and running around the yard, street, vacant lot, whatever until dinner’s ready, which will consist of steamed vegetables,  chicken, rice and protein shakes for everyone.

And this brings up my next topic:  The Fat Tax.

You might’ve heard of the Fat Tax or “Sins Tax” in passing recently, but the idea is hardly new.  The Fat Tax would increase the amount of money individual consumers would be paying on sugary foods or foods deemed to have little-to-no nutritional value.

To say I’m for this tax would be obvious, although I can see its drawbacks plainly.  First, who the hell is in favor of a tax on ANYTHING, especially in our slowly recovering economy.  Secondly, it’s widely known that the biggest purchasers of “bad-for-you-foods” are people in the lowest income brackets.  Why?  Because like an addictive drug, you craft your ware to be cheap and addictive to keep uneducated people and their spending dollars from straying away; you set your hooks deep with flavorful concoctions manufactured and sold at little cost.

Why do you think McDonald’s has a dollar menu?  You can feed a family of four dinner tonight for as little as fifteen dollars.fat-kits-eating-mcdonalds

Not to knock McDonald’s, as I’m a shareholder; I know its hypocrisy, however I want to make money on the backs of the dumb and poor too.

Another argument against the Fat Tax is that “good food” is also “expensive food.”  This line of reasoning isn’t baseless, as anyone who wanders into a Whole Foods will tell you.  You want organically grown brussel sprouts?  That’ll be 1.99 a lb, oppose to the “regular” sprouts, which are .99 cents a pound.

“What the hell is the difference?”  I asked my wife one day while grocery shopping.

“The organic ones don’t use harmful pesticides,” she explained.  Oh, but, … I mean, if we wash these spouts in the sink after we buy them, aren’t they just as good?

I didn’t bother asking that question, but to me it seems clear:  There’s already a “tax” on good-for-you foods, why not tax the bad-for-you-foods too?

Soda is a big one.  I heard a proposal the other day that suggested a penny an ounce tax on sugary-sodas, meaning, that 20 ouncer you get out of the machine at lunch time would cost you twenty cents more.  It might not seem like a big deal, hell, what’s an extra quarter going into the machine going to cost you, that’s less than a postage stamp.  But think of it over time, and think of it on a macro scale, where out of 265 million US Citizens, over 85% of us consume sugary beverages every day, multiple times a day.

Right next to kicking fast food, kicking soda was the worst.  When I committed to my diet and weight loss plan at the beginning of the year I immediately took notice of the withdrawal symptoms I was having as little as 48 hours without a carbonated caffeine drink.  I was irritable, sweaty, panicked, shaky and dry-mouthed.  No matter how much water I would drink, I was still thirsty.

But I got through it, and after about two weeks I could care less about soda.  Now if I split a Coke with Ang… a real Coke, mind you… I can feel my teeth buzz, dare I say, throb from the high sugar concentration.  I can’t believe I used to pound a 12 pack or more a day of that stuff.
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Let’s go back to that fat woman I described a little while ago:  No one gets that big, America, no one.  Sure, some people are just big people, whether it’s genetics or glandular diseases or by some means that can’t be controlled.  Hell, my Uncle David weighs in at over 300lbs, however, he’s also 6’7 and built like a bank vault door.

No, that woman walking down the street in the shock-loaded elastic waist sweats, with the visible dark stain running down the middle of her back because she was exerting herself beyond her normal means by having to move her vast body a short distance, did that shit to herself.  She’s likely poor, under educated, and had parents that didn’t care about her enough to prepare her a home-cooked meal once in a while.  Instead she never learned to take care of herself and figured that why should I learn to cook when the fine people at McDonalds (ticker: MCD) will cook for me, and it’s only pennies a day…

With the likelihood that government provided health care will go national it’s unlikely that she’s even insurable with a private company, so as a tax payer I’m going to be paying for the eventual quadruple by-pass surgery she’ll require to jumpstart her car battery-sized-and-colored heart sooner or later, plus the inevitable fee the fire department will charge for knocking down a wall to her apartment to extract her via crane and sling.

Tax it, tax Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Lays Potato Chips, anything delicious and would cause a reasonable person to vegetate on the couch in front of an episode of “Two and a Half Men” and stuff their faces uncontrollably for hours on end.  But turn around and give tax break incentives to those of us who are spending money on joining a gym (tax incentives would work like a Subway Card, Jared:  You’d have to get the card punched by a gym employee min. once a week, and turn that card in with your tax paper work) or buying healthier foods.  Make smoking cessation programs tax-free or put tax credit incentives on those as well.  Consider it a rebate on the cost of the program if completed successfully.story2

How about age restrictions on fast food?  Or how about just not letting them stay open 24/7?  Unless you work third shift as a cab driver, why the hell are you going to Taco Bell at 4 am when Last Call was three and a half hours ago?

Ride a bike to and from work more than once a week for a month?  You get a government issued gas card for 50 bucks.

The point I’m trying to make is, yeah, tax the shit we don’t need, but how about throwing a bone to those of us who have already been keeping a healthy lifestyle?  Positive reinforcement works just as good as negative.

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September 23, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Getting Older, Out and About, Shameless Self Promotion, Smells Like Children, The Great Indoors, Those Crazy Politicians | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fading Art

To talk about my handwriting, particularly on my own blog which is online – where things are typed obviously, makes little sense.  But then again, here in the last few innings of 2009, talking about handwriting altogether seems a tad peculiar.

Handwriting is the fastest fading art in the modern world.  No longer is it being taught in schools past the second or maybe third grade.  And why should it be?  Most kids between the ages of say 6 and up can readily navigate a computer and probably type faster than most 50+ year olds, especially on a phone or other portable device.

So why handwriting?  Why do I care?

Because my handwriting sucks, and so does everyone else’s.

Take for a second, and think about the last paper check you signed.  For me it was for this month’s rent and as I look thru my check register at all my passed written checks, I notice how terribly juvenile my handwriting looks.  This observation comes just before the realization that some bank teller somewhere is looking at my check and trying to figure out if I wrote the amount for 875 or 813?  This makes me very self conscience.IMG_0169

It used to be that handwriting was a staple in school curriculum up until you reached high school.  Ask your parents and they’ll tell you that penmanship was something they probably stressed out over in the same way kids stress out about algebra and school shooters today.  Penmanship and handwriting were studied and practiced, and a person was often judged by their hand written words.

But with the advent of technology, especially in the classrooms, little emphasis remains on proper handwriting.  It was reported in an article in Slate that teachers spend as little as ten minutes a day with third graders on their penmanship.  Often, teachers will give handwriting workbooks to students and let them go it alone, not either taking or having the time to go into how to make a proper uppercase cursive “S”.

I wish I spent more time on my handwriting growing up; I never had good penmanship and was often frustrated by the sight of my over-large, shaky script.  As I grew older I became more accustom to typing, being able to type over 20 wpm by the time I was 11 or 12.  The biggest hang up for me, as a kid, was the lack of being able to get the pen or pencil to move fast enough to keep up with my thoughts.

I’d be leaned over a sheet of paper, the kind with three sets of lines: two bold lines that marked the top and bottom of the “train tracks” you were supposed to follow, with the dotted center line that told you where to keep your lower case letters from being confused as upper case, and drag the tip of my ever-dulling lead pencil in jagged rough print, and then eventually into fake-feeling, albeit faster loopy script.

I never liked how it looked and was embarrassed about presenting hand written narratives to teachers, even though I loved to write and was desperate for some sort of feedback from those who read my stuff (this explains why I blog).  What made matters worse was how easily my hand would cramp up after extended hours of writing.  How many of us sat at our kitchen tables shaking out our wrists as we plunged headlong into another hour of a “Treasure Island” book report?

As I got older and as school curriculum changed, less emphasis was put on book reports.  I noticed also that I took less guff from teachers for my handwritten work (up until my freshman year of high school, my “grade” in handwriting was my lowest grade ever earned, at “C-“) as I’m sure more and more students were like me with their terrible penmanship that teachers grew to tolerate.

“Can’t fight the technological tide,” I’m sure they said to themselves as more middle school-level book and science reports were turned in neatly typed.

My penmanship slowly atrophied into what it is today: a smooshed block-print and cursive hybrid.  When I write longhand, half my words are written in a chicken scratch slashing, letters at the beginnings of words usually standing alone printed, taller, bigger than the rest of the letters in the word, which tend to be smaller, crunched together in a squiggily scribbled text.

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If I write something down and come back to it later, I seldom can read it word for word, it’s mostly like some sort of alien shorthand or place holders.  I’ll recognize a few letters and get the gist of what I meant.

This is especially frustrating for my wife, who’s left scratching her head at the personal note I left her regarding a need for milk, bread and dog food from the store.

My own signature is something that leaves more to be desired.  I often scribbled out my name on important documents with a kind of bloated confidence and dismissive attitude.  Big “J” with an over-sized loop, scribble-scribble-scribble, big “C” with a stab for a dot, followed by two loops and a long left to right streak which is supposed to look like an “N” and the rest of the spelling of my last name, which is only five letters long.  The end result is nothing to be proud of and a piss-poor representation of my father’s name.

Yet, both my parents’ signatures are easily identifiable and easy to read, letter for letter.

One of my wishes (along with a billion dollars, my own Iron Man suit, and a fully outfitted gymnasium for my exclusivity) is to relearn penmanship and become less dependent on typing.  I wish schools taught handwriting more completely and with greater emphasis on correct form.

Hell, I don’t even think kids today know how to read in cursive anymore.  I sure as hell have a hard time with it.  Before she died, my Memere would send me the occasional hand written letter, in cursive, and I had to guess at what half or more of it said.  In return I would email my mom a letter to Memere and have her deliver it in hand.  But then I realized that was kind of insulting and drawn out, and decided to just call Memere instead.

If schools have to lump penmanship in with arts classes then so be it!  It is an art form, a dying one at that.  With more children learning how to text on a Qwerty keyboard on their little flip-phones, hand writing is wasting away faster than Glen Beck’s grip on reality.

It’s too late for me as I’ve grown past the point of refining my fine motor skills- those dexterous muscles at the tips of my fingers that allow for perfect penmanship.  With age those muscles tend to wear away in favor of major muscle groups that do the grabbing, squeezing and slapping.  But it’s not too late for your kids, if you have them.  Sit them down for an hour every night after they finish their homework and Lima beans and have them write out a page in a book long hand.  When they start to complain that their hand hurts and that hand writing is pointless – everything is typed now-a-days – encourage them and at the same time explain that you’re not teaching them a skill to get ahead, you’re teaching them a vanishing form of artisan ship.

I wish someone had done that for me in fourth grade.

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Getting Older, Shameless Self Promotion, Written Works | , , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to NPR, Re: Diane Rehm.

Dear National Public Radio,

I’m an avid fan of your stations and programming, to the point where I even donated my 1998 Triumph motorcycle to my local NPR station in lieu of an actual monetary donation.  I love NPR a lot, however I avoid a two hour block of programming between 10 and noon, also known as “The Diane Rehm Show.”

This week, The Diane Rehm Show, or DRS, turns 30.  Ms. Rehm is a thoughtful, intelligent and outstanding host, the show has complex issues and interesting guests with equally interesting interviews.  So why wouldn’t I dig her show?
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It’s her fucking voice.

Ms. Rehm was diagnosed with some sort of degenerative throat disease some years back which makes her voice sound warbled, scratchy and unpleasant.  Imagine a life-long smoker with a tracheotomy trying to give a speech with a boot firmly placed over where their larynx used to be.

I know it’s not her fault, and god bless her for having the balls to get on the air every day (she’s been out for the last like two weeks or something, as of press time, due to her condition) but come on man, this is radio, you TALK for a living.  It’s not like you’re a disc jockey and you only have to speak into the mic for thirty seconds between 90 minute blocks of classic rock or pop music.  You speak almost non-stop for TWO HOURS!  Jesus, am I monster for not tuning in?

Ms. Rehm is very self conscience of her voice, which gives her the resolve and bravery of Molly Pitcher for getting on air every day and sallying forth with her program.  But really, c’mon, it’s ok, give it (your voice) a rest.

It’s like trying to be patient while a man with hooks for hands tries to write out a check at the bank.  Every day.  For two hours.

I’m not ashamed to say that I can’t stand listening to her voice.  A comment thread on NPR.org in regards to Ms. Rehm’s 30th Anniversary cited many listeners who “don’t mind” the voice and think it “adds to her charm.”

Dude, that’s like saying a person’s colostomy bag adds to their personality.

I’m sorry if I’m coming off like a huge asshole here, but I’m calling it as I see it.  What if Ms. Rehm was horrendously disfigured and was an anchor on NBC’s “Today Show?”  Would you still tune in?  Maybe you would, because you like a freak show, and maybe that’s why these listeners enjoy tuning in to the DRS?

Ms. Rehm is fully capable of doing her show, as she has been for 30 years now (a show highlight for Ms. Rehm was an interview with Julia Childs back in 1985, according to the article I read.  Can you imagine that interview now, with Ms. Child’s high pitched muppet-like falsetto and Ms. Rehm’s unsettling cadence?  I’d almost tune in for the full two hours…) but maybe it’s time to move into something like writing for Ms. Rehm.  Or at least NPR could cut her show down from two hours to one?  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
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I mean, would you make a one legged man walk for two miles, when only one would be sufficient?

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Why Am I Listening to This? | , , , | 1 Comment

Ex-Co-Workers: Your Office’s Lingering Fart.

In the working world people come and go, and the less transitory the job, the stronger the bonds are between co-workers.  I mean, if anyone was stuck in a foxhole with someone else long enough, I’m sure lasting friendships would be forged.

However, if you’re in a business where people tend to come and go like the breeze, it’s likely you couldn’t care less about your co-workers.  That isn’t to say that you won’t make a friend or two, or might be sad to see someone go every once in a while, however, largely you could care less.

It’s just faces in the crowd, really.

And that’s how I feel most of the time.  The bulk of people in my office I could give two shits about; you’re here, you work, and you transfer out in roughly a year or two.  It’s been nice knowin’ ya.

But what do you do when they come back?  …For a visit?

Is anything more awkward than an old co-worker coming back to your office to “hang out” and “catch up” especially when you’re busy at work?  Could you imagine sitting at your desk while someone you give less than two shits about jabbers on while leaning over you, perched on your cubical wall, not giving a shit that you’re a week behind a deadline and your phone is ringing off the hook?  Don’t you wish they’d take a hint and go the fuck away?Library_04619

Two such situations happened around my office recently, about five days apart, where old co-worker came back to the office to pay a visit.  Nothing to me is sadder than to discover a former co-worker just sitting around a common area waiting for someone to talk to, almost like a Trap Door Spider waiting to snatch some desert bird who haplessly came too close to their hovel.

But that’s what I walked into the other day when I was going from the little room I stay in when I’m here at work, to my office.  Between the two spaces I have to cross through a rather large common area, and who did I see leaning up against the wall?  This asshole that transferred out to our offices in CT at the beginning of Summer.

“Hey J, how’s things going for ya?”  He sticks his hand out.  I’m forced to be fake because the man is a born loser with a dark disposition on life, and I’m the exact opposite.  At least I like to keep up that appearance anyway.

No one was immediately in the area, so I couldn’t do the “hey,” shake, and move on bit.  I was forced to actually hit the brakes and chit chat.

“How’s Connecticut?”  I asked through somewhat gritted teeth.  He goes on to complain (because that’s a crowd-winner, right?  Who the hell cares how shitty it is, lie like everyone else and say ‘good!’) for a solid ten minutes about how it’s not like our branch, and how he hasn’t made any friends, so on, so forth.

This guy is the only guy I know who would frown while getting blown by Megan Fox.  He’s that miserable.

So after ten minutes of listening to him complain, I shove off, tell him I have some reports to run, yada yada yada, and he does that annoying thing where someone will start a whole new conversation as you’re taking a step to your right to walk away, just to reset their hooks in you.  I stop, looking around over his shoulder for someone to help me, begging god for someone on the PA to page me to some place, anything.  He locks me in for another solid two minutes before I finally stop him in mid sentence with:

“Oh hey, what happened with that (Blank)?”  He’s confused because he has no idea what I’m talking about, as I just made up an incident involving his new branch.  I take the pause to tell him I heard that (Blank) had happened and did he know anything about it.

“No…?”

“Oh, well, huh, that’s funny,” I say, allowing another awkward pause to settle in place.  I use that pause to segue into finally leaving this asshole leaning on the wall.  “Ok, well, I’ll be seeing you,” and I quickly turn and walk away without giving him a chance to try to rope me back in.iStock000000379976XSmallAnnoying2-main_Full

I heard similar stories of people’s run-ins with this guy for the rest of the day.  Apparently he didn’t get the message that no one really wanted to see him around.  I for one was close to paging security to come down and whisk him away, but I kept getting distracted by phone calls and text messages.

At one point I heard a page come across our PA system.  It was the guy’s voice, paging a co-worker of mine to come down to the break room.  Seriously, the nerve!

Jump ahead to this afternoon (as I’m writing this) me and some co-workers come in from a charity function here in town and there’s ANOTHER one of these former co-workers just hanging out in our administrative pool area!

This guy is ten times worse than the other guy because he’s a lying, stealing cheater with a big fat mouth and the balls to match.  He was caught red handed, twice, digging through my personal belongings both in my stay room and at my desk.  When confronted, he flat denied it to mine, and my supervisor’s face, both of us had been the ones to catch him.

He was assigned to our office a year ago from another office up the coast due to family illness.  While he was staying here, he did nothing but disrupt the natural course of business while failing to be productive.  He was a slimy leach latched on to the testicle of a happy working environment.   He was recently transferred out, back to his original office, after our office’s managers had decided they’d had enough of his antics.

But now, here he was, back again, smiling that gapped toothed smile, the very picture of an animated ventriloquist’s dummy.

We keep somewhat of a skeleton crew here at the office on the weekends; most of our bosses are at home, rightfully so, and we who are left behind are given a work list of things that require taking care of.  I don’t work every weekend, only a handful at a time, and it’s nice.

Luckily, most of my co-workers were already in the admin pool area when this dickwad sauntered in off the street to have lunch with us.

I avoided him at all cost, because I felt like I’d likely pummel him to death with my bare fists should I interact with him.  I went into my office without closing the door, as so Ivy, my dog who’s staying with me at the office this weekend, could come and go as she pleased.
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In walks fuckstick.

“Cool dog, when did you get him?”

“We got HER, a few weeks ago.”

“Oh, how much did she cost?”  Who the fuck asks that?  I’ve been asked about every normal, sane question you can ask someone about their dog, and not one person asked me how much I spent on her.  And nothing is so trashy as to ask anyone how much anything costs.  Decent people don’t talk about money like that.

“Excuse me?”  I say while squinting and looking up from my screen.

“How much did you spend on her?”  He asks again while petting her. This gets under my skin real quick.  I avoid the question and ask him to shut the door.  He shuts the door, but he’s still in my office, petting my dog.

“No, I meant, shut the door with you on the other side of it,” I explain to him.  He looks up at me with a confused expression and I see the lightbulb eventually come up with a flicker.  Quietly he turns and opens up the door to my office and steps out, leaving it open.

Once you’ve left a job, be it through transfer, firing or quitting, don’t go back.  People have moved on, take it from me.  Your so-called “friends” at the office have pretty much forgotten about you the moment your car door slams shut for the last time in the company parking lot.  As you shuffle your box of belongings around on your passenger seat, people are already erasing your contact information from their email address books and rolodexes.  You’ve been “unfriended” by everyone at the office on Facebook, your tagged pictures have been “untagged.”  You’re like a fart, hanging in the air until you waft away and are forgotten for good.

How many farts do YOU really remember?

Just move on, make new “friends” where ever you land.  Always keep looking forward, and forget those behind you.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Living in an Insane Asylum, People I Hate | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dissecting Cosmo

So imagine walking into your office and you catch this whiff of some fruity concoction; it’s over powering, destabilizing, and instantly you wonder if someone set off a Febreze bomb in your working space.

With coffee in hand you set your things down and looking back up at you from your desk is Megan Fox, the “it” starlet of the moment, complete with the allure of a flash frozen whore.

Someone left a Cosmopolitan Magazine on my desk, whom I have no idea, since my office is a shared workspace and I do work with members of the opposite sex.

“Cosmo” as it’s called by its utterly slutty readership has a home in America’s beauty salons, high school lockers, and under your little sister’s mattress.  I figured I’d go into the magazine and dissect some of it for my readers, because shit, it’s midnight, I’m up, you’re up, wouldn’t you like to know what men think about a magazine that purports to KNOW what men think?

The Cover:
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As stated, Megan Fox is on the cover, set on a pink background, she’s wearing a skanky looking pinkish dress, complete with fan-blown hair, and a bunch of gaudy costume jewelry that looks like it was purchased from a local flea market.  I do not understand her appeal, only that she’s conventionally hot.  I guess she has a new movie coming out, but… whatever.

Of course there’s headlines detailing what’s inside the issue, some of these include “Bad Girl Sex: These 12 Moves Will Show Him Your REALLY Naughty Side.  We Call Them The “Dirty Dozen.” This headline will forever ruin the classic war movie of the same name for me.  On the same subject, 12 moves?  I’m confused because I’ve been having sex for a while, and honestly, there’s really nothing new to discover, at least in my own mind, that a sexual partner, particularly a girl, can do that hasn’t been done in every porno movie I’ve ever watched while only wearing one sock.  Girls: here’s the real scoop:  Just show up, that’s it.  You don’t need “super secret dirty new moves” to impress us.  Just… climb on board.  Really.

Another headline:  “One Question No Guy Can Resist.” … Whatever the fuck that means.  Girls, ask a guy any question about himself, or his opinion, and likely he’ll cough up an answer, as long as it pertains to his thoughts regarding sports teams, high school glory days, beer vs. beer, or if he’d be interested in seeing you naked.  When it comes to that stuff, we’re usually open books.

The last headline before I move on:  “The Sexy Ass Workout:  2 Weeks to Tight Cheeks.” I don’t know what it is about that lede, but it’s so utterly unattractive.  Anything with the word “ass” in it just… ugh, and you know, I’m an ass and leg guy too?  But seeing it in big bold black letters under Megan Fox’s right tit just… it’s so unclassy.  Maybe it harkens to that “Flirty Girl Fitness” commercial I see advertised in the mornings that I’m watching old “Saved By The Bell” episodes.  You know the commercial, a handful of strippers prance around with the promise of getting “fit” by doing “sexy” stripper routines in your own living room.

But you know better.  You know that the tantalizing bodies on the screens are not the ones doing squats next to their crumb-covered couches at home.  No, it’s gross heavy weight housewives lamely attempting to get into some sort of shape in order to seduce their husbands, who will only be closing their eyes and imagining the gyrating girls from the commercial when they get to sticking it.Fat_figurestore_pole

That said, let’s take a look inside…

I flip through fifteen sum-odd pages, re-wafting that noxious gas back into my office.  Every page I turn is an ad for something or other, make up, perfume, clothes…

I’m not surprised or unfamiliar with this, as I read “Esquire” and “Men’s Health” somewhat religiously.  Periodicals have to pay the bills I understand, and advertisers know this.  If you’re interested in men’s fashion, expect Calvin Klein ads to be littered about your magazine.  Women’s mags are no different.

I get to page 18, and on the bottom left corner there’s a picture of three celebs with the title “If You Had To Choose…” with the options of Musicians Jon Legend and Jon Mayer, and actor Jonathon Rhys Meyers, with the option to “shun, shag or marry.”  Men play this game too, but it’s typically called “Friend, Fuck or Murder” and it tends to involve female celebrities.  But in this case, I would Friend Jon Mayer (I follow him on Twitter), fuck Jon Legend, and probably murder Meyers, only because I hated the two and a half episodes of “The Tudors” I’ve seen.

More ads, more ads….

I come to the article on Ms. Fox, and I’m somewhat confused because the opening pages are photo splashes of her, full body shots, her in flirty tantalizing poses, which makes me flip the magazine back over to make sure I’m still working through an issue of Cosmo and not “Maxim.”  I know girls check each other out and probably are more inclined to bi-sexual fantasizing then men (for instance, I doubt I’m going to crack open next month’s “Esquire” and find a spread of a shirtless Alex Rodriquez on bed sheets…).  It’s just confusing.

Apparently Ms. Fox has filled out some sort of questionnaire here that they’ve superimposed into the article as filler, because even I’d be hard pressed to get 700 words out on an actress with a pool of talent shallower than anything bought at Kmart.

Information gleaned from the questionnaire:  Ms. Fox’s nickname is apparently “bird” which is never explained (maybe it’s explained in the article, but I didn’t bother to read it), her most “tomboyish trait” is her “sailor mouth” which … I’m not sure if it turns me on or makes me think of festering scurvy sores… in another life she was probably a man… According to Ms. Fox the only thing sexier than sex is a Funny Boy (Bobby Hill, watch out!)… her ideal date would be a “sexy sandwich with Andy Samberg and Jonah Hill (first of three times I would throw up in my mouth and be forced to swallow it back down while researching this article) …. The most scared she’s been was when “any time I go on stage – instant diarrhea” (That’s two!  I just want to know if she uses the loose 1 dollar bills she’s collected to clean herself up?)… and in ten years she’d like to be “still working.”  Megan I hear there’s some prime real estate over at Vh1 on Sunday nights if you’re looking… or Hollywood Square, bottom right, under Bruce Valanch and next to John Stamos’ stunt double.

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I skip ahead to the next article, titled “What He’s Really Doing at a Bachelor Party.” I’d like to point out at this time that I’m listening to Tom Waits on my Pandora radio station to help balance out the estrogen that’s bleeding out from this magazine.

From the 350 word article:  “The horror stories abound: binge drinking, strippers, lap dances, even full on sex with hookers!  You know your guy would never go there… but you also know guys act stupidly when pressured by pals.”

Ok, let me say this:  I’ve been to two bachelor parties in my entire life, neither sure as hell involved any sex with hookers, and only one involved a pair of non-English-speaking strippers who engaged in a dyke-fest on the floor of a HVAC shop while a bunch of coked out Colombians cheered them on.  Regardless, bachelor parties tend to be kinda lame.  There’s a collection of guys, both professional and personal friends of the groom who gather, watch a porno together and drink beer.  Usually, by nine-ish the married guys dip out to get back home to the wife and kids, leaving the single guys start getting picked off one by one by the booze fairy around 11ish.

Women: Honestly, you have nothing to fear from a bachelor party.

Also from the article, towards the end:  “A good time to drive your point [re: acceptable behavior at the bachelor party] home is right after a good romp, when the love hormone Oxytocin is raging for both of you.  Point out that you’re able to try new things in the bedroom because you trust him and know you’re the only one he’s doing stuff like that with.” If you read between the line here ladies, what you’re being told is to let us bareback it with you the night before, so you can say “look I let you hit it raw, you better not go to the party and bring back something nasty that’s going to make my insurance premium sky rocket the next time I get a check up.”

Moving on…

Page 48 has a huge graphic breaking down what’s apparently “Sexy vs. Skanky.”  A rhyming break down of acceptable and unacceptable fashion-type behavior.  Such helpful advice includes Sexy: “Being edgy” with a picture of the singer Fergie wearing what looks like an over sized t shirt she wore to a razor fight, and Skanky:  “Picking Wedgie” where model Victoria Silvstedt, clad in a bikini is digging knuckle deep up her ass to fetch part of her bottoms.vs23_medium

One more:  Sexy “Pumped up guys” with a picture of actor Taylor Kitsch, who I think is from the tv show “Friday Night Lights” but I could be mistaken, because I nor anyone else has ever watched a single episode of that show, and Skanky: “Frumped up girls” with a picture of Helena Bonham Carter walking some place wearing what looks like turn of the century bed clothes.

I have a problem with this because Ms. Bonham Carter is a sweetheart and hardly a “skank.”  Sure, she often looks like a crazy homeless lady, and I expect her at any second to have some small mammal leap from her hair, but she’s by no means to be lumped into the same circus of painted whores as the entire cast of “The Hills.”  She’s a very talented stage actress and will forever be Marla from ‘Fight Club.’  Cosmo, leave the poor woman alone.  I’m sure she has mirrors in her very expensive British estate, and she’s aware she leaves the house looking like a bedraggled bus riding bag lady.
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More ads… more ads… head starts to spin due to lack of sufficient O2 as office becomes saturated in perfume samples.

I get to a section called “Confessions” where readers submit embarrassing, albeit humorous anecdotes that involved their “V Zones” and an unnaturally high amount of accidents involving fellatio.  I chuckle, and figure the bulk of these are at least 50% creative fiction writing exercises, because “hooking up with a real hottie in the bathroom of this club” seldom ever really happens.

I skip ahead again, and now I’m looking at a series of close ups of some dudes eyes, with the headline “4 Truths His Eyes Reveal.”  Apparently if you study these four sets of eyes, you’ll be able to read our (men’s) minds.

Featured:  I’m Bummed – half raised eyebrows, slight smirk.
I Love You – Narrowed gaze, rapist quality eyebrows.
I’m Putting One Over On You – Eyes complete closed, face apparently becomes African-American.  Maybe it should read “I’m Putting One In You?”
I Want You – Steady, burning gaze that the longer I look into, makes me feel gay as a tree full of birds.

Not Featured:  Hunny, Get Me Another One? – Uplifted eyebrows with hopeful glint
Ugh, I’m Kinda in The Mood, (But Don’t Feel Like Fucking Around With All That Foreplay) – Squinted eyes, furrowed brow.
Please, Shut The Fuck Up – Upturned eyes, towards ceiling, almost asking for god’s hand to come down from the sky and smite thee.
I Hate Your Harpy Friends – Red eyes, bared teeth.

I next come across “The Guy Report” with useless information for women to “nudge” guys to do their bidding and to decode eating habits.  Of the eating habits “If he routinely finishes his meals long before you do, being in sync and savoring your relationship may not be priorities for him.” Or… or it could mean I’m just fucking hungry because I’ve been at work all day and the last time I ate was at about 9 am this morning which consisted of a piece of wheat toast and a handful of Corn Pops?  Lesson:  If you have time to over analyze our relationship based purely on how I’m eating, you need to check your insecurity.  The fact that I’m sucking down the meal you just made me should be a compliment.  The way I look at it, as a guy, if I’m spending my time chit-chatting to you and NOT shoveling a forkful of the meal into my mouth, I’m not interested in the food and if you made dinner, that doesn’t bode well for you, or our “relationship.”

Next page:  “Why He Calls You A Nag, When You’re Not.” …Too easy, moving on.

Blah blah blah, fashion accessory stuffy… Pandora is playing some funky shit…lights are blinking around me for some reason… the fear of keeping this magazine open much longer and developing a vagina in the course of writing this article hits my chest with a sudden thud….

The rest of the magazine is basically ads, either in-your-face variety of paid full page ads for hair products or slick-looking “reviews” of products that no doubt the manufacturers paid for to appear in the pages with glowing reviews by some editor.

A picture of Rob Thomas, … he looks like an autistic kid with a flashlight….Screening The Duchess NY

Now on to the obligatory sex stuff that is the pride of Cosmopolitan Magazine.  A collection of essays, tips, pointers, and pictures of soft core pornography to go along with it all.

Remember earlier when I mentioned that during the research phase for this article I puked in my mouth thricely?  Here’s number three:

From the article “Fun Little Tricks Guys Love:”  “Use Your Thong as a Hair Tie.” …I’m not even remotely making that up.

It goes on:  “There are few things guys like more than long hair, women’s underwear, and sex.  So combine all three!  If things start getting hot and heavy, stopping the action to go search for a pony tail holder will kill the mood.  Instead, grab – or take off – (get read for it…) your underwear.  Simply fold the crotch up so that the thong forms an open circle, twist your hair into a low pony tail or bun, and use your panties like an elastic band to secure your locks!”

…Ok.  I can almost… ugh… I can almost smell how disgusting of an idea that is.

Let me go out on this note:  If I were ever getting frisky with my wife and she … pulled off her underwear to use to tie her fucking hair back, I’d throw her out of bed.  Without hesitation, because I figure if she has gone past the point of caring that she’s now wearing her used, hot underwear on her head and still going to have sex with me, she’s either become Helena Bonham Carter or she’s just gone plain crazy.
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My wife, and just about every girl I’ve ever been intimate with since about the age 16 has an army of fucking hair ties laying around within reach of her at all times.  If there isn’t one already on her wrist, there’s bound to be one on her fucking ankle, or the night stand, or in her pocket or purse or on the floor, on the sink faucet, on the little Buddha in the bathroom, on a toothbrush… you get the idea.  And fuck it if you can’t find one… hell, there’s times when I can’t find a condom, but that doesn’t stop us!  We just say ‘fuck it’ and keep moving forward.

I refuse to have sex with anything that will wear it’s underwear on its head and still figure I will find it attractive.  So fuck you Cosmo, for misleading young women.  Watch for next month’s article on how guys apparently think snowballing their come back into their mouths is “sexy.”

Can’t wait.

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Why Am I Reading This? | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sign #13 That You’re Officially An Adult…

As you age there are tattletales that let you know you’ve officially crossed the threshold into adulthood.  Some of these are fussing about health insurance, buying a mattress and a sudden natural avoidance of retailers playing music on their store’s overhead speakers so loud as to not being able to understand the mouth breathing acne-riddled teenage sales associate explain that their out of the size running shoe you’re looking for.adulthood-dvd-launch-drive-video-127

Another marker on the road towards inevitable death is the sudden onslaught of bodily pain.

As we get older our bodies tend to break down, because we as people have a tendency to use them every day.  We use our bodies in various ways depending on the types of people we are.  Some use our bodies for a certain purpose while others tend to let themselves waste away through means I couldn’t explain to you in less than a thousand words.  Regardless, as we put the necessary mileage on our bodies, things tend to not work so well as they did when we were younger.  I like to think of it as Death scratching his long withered finger down our backs to remind us that he’s right there, waiting.

Or at least that’s what it felt like the other night.

Roughly twice, maybe thricely a year I throw my back out, and it’s fucking painful.  My back, particularly my lower back, has been my Achilles’ Heel since about high school.  Even as I write this, sitting at my office desk in front of the computer, my back is still achy, despite mine, and my wife’s best efforts.

It doesn’t help things that I was born with a fused vertebrae – my L12 and T1 or something or other are stuck together and have been since birth.  And apparently that’s somewhat normal (one out of every 8 or 9 people?), according to the quack chiropractor I saw half a dozen times during my senior year of high school.  How did I know he was a jackoff quack shaman?  The license plate on his Mercedes said ‘Thanks.”fused_sm

Regardless, he took X-Rays and pointed out that there was nothing chiropractic care could really do for me, since those two bones in my spine were stuck together.  What compounded things was that I had been somewhat injured at some point growing up, and I never allowed the muscles around my lower back to properly heal.  I can think of two possible incidents that occurred that could be these injuries, but I won’t get into them in this article.

Given that, there’s little I’ve ever really done to correct the problem of my lower back, and as I’ve been getting older, the pain that seems to come with my bi or tri annual bouts has only intensified over the years.  As a college kid, I’d catch a quick muscle spasm, wince, and then go on with my day being a little stiffer until my back decided to play along with the rest of my body and come to its senses.

However, the other night was especially rough, to the point that when my wife asked if I wanted to go to the ER, I actually considered it.  And did I mention that the ER was an hour’s drive away, and fucking terrible by western medical standards?worame1_233901s

I had been dealing with a sore back for a few days already when the Last Great Spasm took place on Tuesday night.  I’m not exactly sure on what exact event triggered it this time around, as I’d been doing a lot of heavy, awkward lifting over the last few weeks, leading up to the LGS.

Our dog Ivy has a hard enough time getting up from the floor let alone into the cab of my truck.  When she’s with me and we’re going for a drive, I’ll walk her over to the passenger side of my F150 and open the door for her.  She wiggles her hind quarters and looks up at me with a dumb grin almost to ask “hey, are you fucking kidding me?  Do I look like I can climb up there?  Have you seen me climb the steps up to the apartment?”

So I squat down, trying to keep my back straight, and scoop her up into my arms and lift her 50 lb body into the truck cab as she’s wiggling around and grunting with exuberance.  Doing this a handful of times over the previous weekend might’ve brought on the LGS.

I’m not blaming the dog, I’m just saying.

So fast forward to Tuesday night, where for the last day and a half I’d been walking around the apartment like fucking Frankenstein; a sour disposition, stiff legs and jerky movements – grunting and mumbling when I spoke, that sort of thing.  I’m sitting on the couch with Ang watching “Zoolander” of all things, when I see something on the floor off the side of the couch.

“Oh, that’s where that went,” ‘that’ being an old dog leash that the ferret’s had decided to hide on us a week or so back.  I leaned over the couch to grab it before one of the little furry bastards could re-hide it on us, when suddenly Ang shot me in the back.470_126937

At least that’s what it certainly felt like.  A hot shiv raced between my discs, its piss-and-shit-soaked tip severing my spinal nerves, shifting everything out of place, causing my entire body to lock up like I was running Windows Vista.

I yelled in agony, my outstretched arm turned into a statue’s claw, my eyes watered up, my tongue swelled, my throat closed.

“Ah, ah-ah-aahh…” I managed to say.  My wife popped up concerned, asking me what was wrong.  I think all I could do was point to my back and try to slide backwards into the couch.  As I did so, it felt like I was sitting on an electric fence.

She moved into medic-mode and secured me on the couch (not so secure that I couldn’t grab for my iPhone when she left the room) with my legs propped up.  She quizzed me about the yoga moves she showed me how to do to help with my back spasms the last time this happened a few months ago and frowned with disappointment when I answered “no” to “have you been doing them?”

Soon I was face down, head hanging miserably off the side of our bed, attempting to realign my spine.  Ang warmed up a heating pad, and sensing that something was wrong with daddy, Ivy came padding over and licked my face.

Pushing her away only emboldened her, as she then decided it would be a good idea to try to lift my head with her body.  She squatted under me and pushed her furry, shedding back against my face, so that the sticky dog spit I was covered in would collect her shedding blonde hair, giving me a patchy bearded look of a high school kid who’s just begun growing out his facial hair.

Ang took a video, of course.

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Getting Older, Shameless Self Promotion, The Great Indoors | , , , , , , | 1 Comment