Monday, September 29, 2008

I feel you, dawg.

Some poor bastard from Canada arrived on my blog post tonight after Googling:

"how to fix your relationship when your wife thinks she is always right".

I feel sick that you went looking for help... and got me, my friend. And at the same time, I totally feel you. But the frustration you must have been feeling as you filled out that search box with the verbal summation of your pain...I cringe for you.

If you find your way back, we are here for you. One empathetic male and a small sea of female judgment await the story of your grief to use as our emotional volleyball...but I will tell you right now - It's not gonna be pretty. You are not right, nor am I, nor have we ever been.

You see, Timmy, they hold the keys to the kingdom. They are beautiful, intelligent, emotionally gifted, soft and warm, and they hold the only prize that our dumb asses think is worthy of seeking.

So suck it up, tell her you understand where she is coming from, and despite your genetic short-straw, you will try harder.

And once again, I feel terrible you landed here. To quote the movie Dune...

"They tried and failed?"

"They tried and died."

All of life's greatest mysteries are answered in the movies, my friend. Another time.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

My most intimate fantasies are deep fried.

Nannette at GirlFriday (I love her blog!!) submitted the following question: "What is your biggest, most secreted guilty pleasure?" Thanks to Nannette for playing Stump the Moron...If you have a question you would like to ask Jay, submit it here.

In the interest of keeping this an NC-17 blog, my deepest desires and guiltiest pleasures have always been food related...essentially, if you were a woman who was interested in me at all, you simply had to do little more than take one of your shoes, batter it, drop it in the deep frier, and ask, "Are you man enough?"

And I was.

I am a fiend for deep fried anything...I would like to be buried with a bucket of KFC in a dumpster in the back of KFC, with pall bearers gainfully employed by, you guessed it, the local KFC.

And if I somehow avoid hell, I have to believe that the only other option available to me is the Texas State Fair, or as my medical wife likes to call it, "Triage". This year, they have a bevy of delicacies awaiting me including "Deep Fried Coke", "Chicken Fried Bacon", and another that defies comprehension, "Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls".

I am here to tell you, if I one day can stomach the smell of burnt hair, I will be seen hobbling into the Texas-OU game with my once in a lifetime indulgence, "Jay's Chicken Fried Strawberry Marinated Thigh 'O Plenty"...with chocolate dipping sauce.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ok, I am seriously pissed.

Last year I got pulled over for speeding. In an effort to return some sanity to the house one afternoon, I had taken my daughter for a brief outing, and was pulled over on a side street I never used for going 40 in a 30. I begged and pleaded with the officer, tried to describe the situation at home that day, told him what happens to people in my profession if they get speeding tickets, preyed on his sense of fatherhood and humanity.

He returned to my car with my ticket. $200 bucks, pal. Next time slow down.

This morning, my wife left for work in a hurry, in the dark, the same way she has for 10 years. As she blasted down the street doing 54 in a 40 trying to figure out how to defog her windshield, she was pulled over by the city’s finest. When asked if she knew how fast she was going, she replied, “No, I was too busy trying to unfog my windshield.”

And then it happened.

“Well, that’s ok ma’am, because I don’t give tickets to nurses.”

Now. Am I pissed because we just saved $200 and a trip to court to seek out deferred adjudication…AGAIN? No.

Am I pissed because she gets away with it and I cant? Maybe.

Am I pissed because Johnny Law gets to use his badge to flirt with my wife? ABSOLUTELY. I know it’s gonna sound pathetic, but I would have RATHER she got the ticket, and feel like the guy had done his job properly.

And finally, the person I am most pissed at is…me. Last year I voted to pay for more police in our city. So essentially, I handed that guy a twenty, and asked him to hit on my wife.

I want my vote back.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

So happy my wife is good at these things, I simply do not have a hair designer mentality or skillset. My daughter pulled all this out as soon as she got to school, incidentally...told her teacher "her head hurt".

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My opinion is righter than yours, dummy.

I know the hypocrisy behind what I am about to say. I blog, I share my opinions, I make judgments, I impose my beliefs on others, I get it. That being said, I don't make statements about about my opinions on hotbutton issues or politics as though they are fact. They are my opinions, and I am entitled to them, the same as you are entitled to yours.

Enter "Jane".

(we'll call her Jane as she is a lady I knew from high school, and by not using her real name, I am trying to show her more decency that she is showing others.)

Jane filled out her status on Facebook one day with the following:

"Jane cannot believe that any thinking woman would vote for (candidate team) - esp. b/c of (candidate team member). UGH!"


Lemme get this straight, Janie. Any woman who is affiliated with the party in competition with your candidates doesn't think. Hasn't thought it through. Doesn't get it.

Now, as a friend says, I am a male and therefore subject to testosterone poisoning. But for today's discussion, I represent the millions of Americans, male and female, who hold a contrary opinion to yours. And as an emotionally gifted American male who realizes we are the less intelligent gender, I briefly join the ranks of brilliant females across this great nation to address your insulting comment.

How glorious it must be for you to awaken each morning knowing that you are part of the group of people that are just "right". What a relief it must be not to be a part of the group of people who are so empirically "wrong". All the intelligent, rational, and opinionated women I know will be THRILLED to learn that instead of taking their own thoughtless stance on candidate selection, they can simply follow your Solomon-esque lead, and never be forced into any of that icky thinking stuff.

Just a thought, maybe you could make your case for your impending vote, if you must share it at all, and leave out the bigotry. Maybe you could support others who take a stance, even those in the opposition, and actually exercise their voting privilege. Perhaps you just did your candidate a disservice by calling people names for not agreeing with you.

My hope for your near future: an ego deflation and a dose of respect for others. I will try to heed my own call, and find a way to respect the fact that you have this opinion. However, if it requires thought, I guess I'm screwed.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The dark side of sports.

Saw these folks fishing yesterday, and was compelled to introduce them to you. The couple that fishes together, stays together.

There simply are no words.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Runnin' Buddies.

I had a moment of perspective again yesterday, and wanted to share it with you.

My wife gets tired of my sayings (rightfully so), and one that I beat to death when talking about financial matters is...
"Life throws you curveballs."

The thing is, for many of us, for as much planning and saving as we do, life has a way of consistently presenting us with the unexpected. A lot of us are merely six paychecks away from financial disaster at any one time.

So yesterday I noticed these gentlemen in their wheelchairs, making their way along the street. And I thought about how that can easily be any of us, given a cruel twist of fate.

But I smiled as I found perspective in even their situation...they both have a runnin' buddy. And whether or not they realize it, friends are invaluable.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dearest Smokers, O Slaves to the Cig...

I am gonna try to be sensitive to your feelings, but it's getting harder...

I am the worst kind of smoker. An EX smoker. I buttered my lungs with carcinogens for the better part of 17 years before my then girlfriend declared that she would never marry a man who smoked. I knew I would never do better than this woman, and so finally, my need to smoke was beaten by my need for, well, her.

Now, I literally can't stand it. Hate breathing it, hate the smell, abhor the concept, and regret all the money, time, and insistence I threw at such a disgusting hobby.

Today I walked out of a store into the Wal-Mart employee cloud, and once again, caught a nose and lungfull of filth. To add to my disgust, I managed to hear one of these folks in the middle of a diatribe about how he is fed up with people telling him he can't smoke, or where he can't smoke. It's his right, dammit... And all that BS about second hand smoke...blahblahblah...

Some of our surrounding cities have recently adopted legislation prohibiting smoking in eating establishments, some in public places. And where my knee-jerk response to that would normally be along the lines of..."Yay!", I quickly reign in that opinion to replace it with another that I believe in even more wholeheartedly.

I believe that we should not be telling businesses that they cannot cater to certain groups, including smokers. I believe this, because I think that people can vote with their feet, and dont need government to limit free enterprise just to give us all one more place to eat. I hate the thought of ever setting foot in another Chucky Cheese, but I am not about to suggest that they shut down and stop scaring kids with that freakshow mouse of theirs, and I think that people can decide for themselves whether or not to head over to Chucky's House of Pain and Tokens.

My wife and I went out one evening to dinner at a local place we had to been to in years, since we were dating in fact. As we walked in the front door, the smell of smoke slapped us in the face, leading to our looks of shock and disgust. Regardless, we chalked it up to the fact that we had not been out in a long time, and had forgotten what it was like. We went and sat at the bar to await our seating, where we lasted a whopping two minutes before giving up and running for the door...we have never returned. And herein lies my point...I'll never go back there, but someone else loves that place, and I am not about to take that aways from them.

All that being said, Mr. Smoker, you are correct. You have the "right" to smoke. Until it is deemed illegal (and in some places it already is), you can keep stuffing those grey dripping lesions you call lungs with as much asbestos and landfill as you see fit. I totally understand, by the way. 10 years after quitting, I still miss it. But now, my lungs and nose are clear, and I can smell you. And with all due respect, you smell... And you make me smell.

How about being just a tad more sensitive about where you do it? I fight for your rights to smoke, but your care-less attitude about where you smoke because it is your "right" isnt doing you any favors, and is probably the main reason for doors closing to your patronage.

Keep it away from my kids, and if I get creamed by my Karma one day and have to ride in an elevator with you, don't be offended if I hold my breath...the entire damn way.

And finally, the next one of you I see smoking in the car with your kid next to you, I am following you to your destination to write you a note...with my keys on your paintjob.

Thanks for listening. Smoke up, Johnny.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am seriously underqualified for these conversations.

After reading Snow White again for the Nth time one recent evening, my wife and I were suddenly hustled out into oncoming traffic by my 4 year old daughter with a topic I thought I still had years to prepare for. As Snow White lived happily ever after with her prince, my daughter noticed the last picture in the book...Snow White as a bride with her Prince husband.

"Why is she married?"

"Because she found her true love, and when you do, you get married”, my wife threw out without hesitation. Clearly, she had been through some training on this as a child.

“Well, I want to get married.”

At this point, knowing full well I might scar the child for life if I interjected with my thoughts on reality and pagan rituals, I left the girls to explore the world of make-believe, and went downstairs. Shortly thereafter, Kat came down and walked into the office with a concerned look on her face.

“We may have a problem.”

“Super, honey, we haven’t had one of those in a long time. What’s up.”

“She wants to marry you.”

Now, I could have happily gone without any conversation like this one for at least the next 30-35 years, yet here it was already, and my wife appeared to be the conductor of the Pre-K Misguided Crush Express.

“Well, what did you say?”

“I told her that she isn’t going to marry Daddy, she is going to find someone else that she loves, and marry them.”

To which Lil Miss C allegedly got a look on her face that was described to me as a cross between “Shock and Awe” and utter dismay.

I sat thru this story with this sinking pit in my stomach, realizing I have yet to buy my shotgun AND start digging my basement. As far as men and their emotional baggage full of joy and pain are concerned, this little girl only knows a love for her daddy at this moment. And at the tender age of four, she is about to abandon that blissful ignorance, never to return.

Assuming she can get past the armed lunatic at the top of the basement stairs.

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"You good?"

Presenting the next installment in our series tribute to hurricanes, men and Darwinian Theory... I hope you enjoy the show. Make sure you are not holding a beverage for the final moments. Ladies, this really is a tribute to YOU, for wanting to be with men at all.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Even these hooligans found a wife.

After taking you thru the courtship process yesterday, and having spent a day recently with the guys, I am reminded what a lottery win it is for jackasses like us to find sympathetic partners. I hope you enjoy the pictures below from "back in the day" before the deranged found their lives rearranged.

Bahamas MENSA meeting.

"Asked" to leave.

Back at the Bachelor pad.

ZERO girls. Big shocker. Alert the media.

Try adding more guys. It's a numbers game.

Desperation is the world's worst cologne.

JACKPOT. French girl. Doesn't speak a word of english.

Abandon all hope. Go home. Put on Steel Magnolias and have a good cry. Oops...was that out loud?

Don't EVER leave me, honey. EVER.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

There she is...ready...GET HER!!!!

Debbie submitted the following question: "how did you meet your wife, and what did you do to trick her into marrying you?" Thanks to Debbie for playing Stump the Moron...If you have a question you would like to ask Jay, submit it here.

I was the marrying kind. Nobody said it, but half a brain could see that I was the guy that girls got to know and THEN saw as a prospect. But for a long time in my twenties, after a couple of relationship choices that went awry, I found myself hanging with a bar crowd. A group of guys who found our way out to the proving grounds 4 or 5 nights a week, and tried our damnedest to impress a female.

Only, I had zero game. In fact, one of my more sensitive buddies once commented, "Carl has some jokes, Brian has the body, Brad has the great approach, and Jay, well...Jay has the hair." And he was right. I had good hair. Once I got into a conversation with a pretty girl, I could sometimes develop some interest, but I was certainly not the guy that most women picked out of the testosterone-laden herd of morons and said, "mmmm...yummy." I had no approach. If I hoped to find a pretty girl to make my wife, I was gonna have to rope her in, tie her down (figuratively, if not literally), and force her to listen to me.

Which brings me to that fateful night.

The venue in question was the picture of class, the perfect place to find a spouse, Lulu's Bait Shack. Such a cosmopolitan locale of poise and blue blood was a regular stop for our group of wayward pigs, and this particular night, we brought our friend Cindy to add a touch of "hot" to our "not". Cindy was a 6 foot blonde beauty who found us more amusing than anything, and we happily brought her with us anytime we felt she might make us look like we had...something...anything.

Cindy and I stood near the bar, both surveying the terrain for subjects to suit our individual tastes, when I noticed her. She walked past, attached to her own friend, and appeared to be making a familiar lap around the establishment, and immediately I was drawn to her. There was something very familiar about her looks, and I found myself trying to decide who she resembled...there was a touch of Tea Leoni...some Jenna Elfman...and enough of both to deepen my interest. I pointed her out to Cindy right off, again when she completed her second lap, and then her third. And finally, Cindy called me out.

"Go and talk to her, moron!" While I always appreciated her company, Cindy could very quickly dissect my manhood.

"I seriously have nothing to say, Cindy, let alone the fact that she has her friend in tow, and I would be on stage for both."

Cindy looked at me as only a woman with absolutely no respect for a man could, and said, "FINE. I am gonna do it." And then, to my horror, she crossed the 8 feet between our huddle and Tea Leoni, and said with disgust, "My friend wants to meet you."

The blood drained from my face, regrouped with the rest of the blood in my body, and flooded my face once more. I placed one pathetic foot in front of the other, crossed the 8 foot abyss to take my place on stage in front of now THREE, and introduced myself.

Now, to say that I could now recount anything that came out of my mouth from that point on would underestimate your intelligence, and overestimate my 40 yr old capacity for long term recollection, so I wont even try, but we covered the basics at least. Her name was Kat, she was a nursing student, her friend looked enough like her to be a sister, but wasn't, and despite my repeated attempts to make a fool of myself in front of her that night, she stayed and heard me out. And at the end of the evening, as Lulu's upper crust was ushered out into the night air, she gave me her number, and then it happened. She kissed me.

It seemed at the time that it was an evening of gifts, you see...Cindy's introduction, Kat's audience, and then the utter shock of a kiss from a pretty girl...all of which unexpected, and yet pathetically appreciated. Turns out my biggest hurdle that evening was 8 feet, and regardless of the process, I had enough to cross it.

You know all the times you have heard people say "Don't look for Mr./Mrs. Right in a bar"? Those people are right, but not about what you think...they are more right about the "going looking" part...Finding someone who will give you their life is more about being the best person you can, which opens you up to the world and makes you more beautiful inside and out, regardless of surroundings. Develop YOU, and be found by the person who likes the person you built. Unfortunately, the real irony of this lesson is that by the time you really figure it out, you have already "caught your limit".

Last night as Kat, our son, daughter and I created a memory dancing in our living room, I found myself thinking about our first night at Lulu's. That was a night of gifts, true, but somewhere in there I must have done something good.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin SNL Replays...

For those of you who missed it, these were a riot.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Natural Selection: Ike hard at work.

I have very little sympathy for those who don't at least attempt to help themselves in a constructive manner.

For instance, if a mandatory evacuation is in effect for Galveston during Hurricane Ike, and Billy Joe decides that a Category 3 is "do-able", I support Darwinian theory. That is not to say I wish harm on anyone, but if you are only gonna use your head for a hat rack, you are taking up space. That emergency worker you are relying on to bail your tail out has a family, Mac.

So the next time you decide to ignore a safety order, try to think about the safety of that Search and Rescue HERO instead of that kick-ass hurricane party you might miss. Maybe Darwin will focus on someone else.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

My wife is always right... Except when I am.

Someone much smarter in the ways of marital harmony told me 5 things to remember when navigating “discussions” with your better half. My wife and I have employed these points, and have really seen the difference in our daily and overall happiness.

1. Be each other’s advocate. Be the spouse that talks highly of the other. It’s an incredible thing when someone wants to give themselves to you, to spend their life with you. Talk about them like you adore them, when you’re in front of them, and when you’re not. Defend them. They will adore you for it.

2. Acknowledge their feelings. This does NOT mean you have to agree with them. Every issue should be treated as “This is how it made me FEEL”, not “This is how it IS”. Too often we take positions of My Fact versus Your Fact…start to think of each situation as My Perception versus Your Perception. They have a right to their opinion, as do you, and it isn’t necessarily RIGHT. Minimally, respect that they have feelings about the situation.

3. Compromise. How hard is it to give in, even just a little? Don’t set your feet in concrete, remember : You are not “right”, you simply have a differing perception.

4. Do something different. Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? Come at it from a different direction…acknowledge their feelings, soften your stance, try again.

5. Fix the system, don’t abandon the house. When a pipe breaks in your home, do you move? I know, it’s tempting… Don’t bring up divorce like it’s some pebble to toss at the fragile glass of your relationship. Address the system. Return to the steps, over and over, find a different way.

As you can see, the person who told me this is deranged. I am not wrong. Ever. Go forward and do likewise, gents. Be right. At all costs. Then decide on which 40% you want to keep.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dear Mr. Healthcare Provider…sir…

I am told I am a nuisance. I am rarely respected, unless given a chance to shine. At your beckon call, subject to your rules, your whims, your tantrums, your ego. And that’s fine… I can, and do, live with it. I think your position commands some degree of respect, and regardless of how you treat me, I will respect you.

That being said…

WHAT THE $%@* is your problem??!!

I know your ego won’t allow for this, and you probably don’t even realize, but you need us. Not for samples, but for knowledge. You see, you went to medical school and learned a lot. But in the process of cramming it all in, you missed things. You’re still missing things. You think you know it, but you don’t.

Now, am I a doctor? Absolutely not. Do I know even a fraction of the medical knowledge that you have to concern yourself with? Not even close. But you should know something. I know several classes of drugs better than you do. I know things about several drugs that you prescribe that you do not. I eat, sleep, and breathe them. If you continue to take this attitude that you are God, and won’t be taught anything, then the people you are really hurting are your patients.

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you write a drug for a young woman that causes 30lbs of weight gain in 2 months, because you haven’t bothered to learn about the other drug in the class that doesn’t cause weight gain. Have you done the best by that young woman that you could have?

Do. No. Harm.

Am I talking to all of you? No. The law of large numbers says that for as many doctors there are out there, some will be kind and attentive, and some of you simply won’t care. Will you take a second to consider one question? If Dr. So-and-So is “The Best in His Field”, then doesn’t that lead to there being a “Worst in His Field”?

Which are you?

And before you point at the other guy, you should's you. But the good news is, if you’ll let me, I’ll make you fractionally better.

And yes, I have an ego too.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Comfort and Healing.

As I sat today in my office (Starbucks), regrouping at an early hour after being discounted and discarded again, I suddenly had a moment. You know those times when you see something that you know will stay with you long after seemingly more important thoughts have escaped your mind?

She sat quietly, her sleeping son comfortably and obliviously sprawled, and she read. Occasionally she would raise her head to greet a friend, or to approve of happenings closeby, always greeting each with a smile. To see them made me feel uncomfortable at first, knowing it rude to stare. But as I sat at a distance and stole the occasional glance, their level of comfort and contentment seemed to permeate the room.

Questions came to me does she get him to sleep, in a house of caffeine and bustle, at such an early hour? For that matter, how does she manage a public place with a three year old, and still seem so happy??!! Ultimately, I felt emotionally pulled into this scene.

And so, I interrupted.

I apologized, and introduced myself, and tried to explain why I was intruding on her perfect scene...trying desperately to alleviate any fears she might have about my intentions. And as if to perfect the entire experience, she understood. She asked what I did, and as soon as I shared with her my daily responsibilities outside of being the creepy guy in the coffee shop, she said something that will stay with me for a long time.

"Mother and child heals all."

She fully understood. She understood the picture she was sitting in, she understood her role in it, and amazingly, she understood why it would affect someone who saw.

My extended family has had a tough time recently. The toughest of times. Emotionally draining, crushing doubts about life and faith. I, for one, am in a place far worse than ever in terms of my own beliefs. And yet, in the midst of it all, sat this woman and her child. And I know she had no idea, but she gave me some peace, right then.

I asked her permission to share her scene with you, the reader, and she allowed me to take her picture. I never asked her name, but if she reads this, I hope she understands how the simplicity of happiness and comfort, a postcard scene of mother and child, helped me even just a little.

And as I thanked her, she smiled again, and said, "God Bless You".

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Oh, this is gonna hurt...

Look at this kid… he has absolutely no idea what he has in store for me today. No plan, no intentions, just instinct and free will in it’s purest form. He didn’t wake up thinking “how can I drive Daddy to drink today?”, or “I am REALLY gonna pay him back for yesterday…”

He simply is a slave to his instincts, and utterly reactive to his surroundings. And that brings up and interesting point to ponder… maybe If I concentrate a little harder on his surroundings and activities I can illicit a different response?

And then I laugh. You gotta love the ego on me, thinking I could actually control chaos.

Today’s lesson in personal development:
Accept that the fit he throws today is not that bad, for 14 years from now, for some reason unknown to me today, he will tell me he hates me. And 14 years after that, he’ll be sorry for saying it.

Today, though, he loves me. And he loves me so much that I am the one he will want to hold him…while he screams his blessed head off.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Explain Yourself.

This year, I lost two.

Both were, both were unmatched. They had achieved what I could only aspire to be.

Both made choices, and life turned unkind. They may have been flawed, but I never saw it.

Both leave questions, both leave holes.

They gave without knowing, and they are the easiest to depict...kind, gentle, infectious.

And if I had doubts before, they are compounded now by the stories of both.

For the life of me, I can't think how this is a better place now.

And I can't explain why others remain, though they are less, far less, than both.

Where is the sense in taking the best of us?

Why trust lesser beings to find meaning in the irrational?

Because we won't, will we?

If this isn't a clue, then please stand up, and explain yourself.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

I think I finally found something to believe in...

Ok...yeah...we got it, Senator....
Change... loud and clear...
Something totally question...

Take it easy, Senator McCain,
We get it! You are NOT George Bush!
No one's trying to say that...just PLEASE try
to calm down, sir....

EXCUSE ME...ANYONE? Question about the ballot... Over here? Can I JUST vote for the librarian?

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Does this ass make my pants look fat?

I had been driving my ass around in a dump truck for far too long. And what with my life expectancy being only slightly more than my current age (exaggerating, I know, just hang with me a minute), I felt it was time to shed some of the bubblewrap I had been protecting myself with for 10 years. Ok, 20 years. Cmon, give a bruthuh a break... 35 years.

I had just come down from the proverbial and literal mountain (Colorado), and after having my chunky and pasty seat cushion handed to me on the way to 10000 feet by my alarmingly fit 40 yr old friend Paul, I made the fateful decision.

And then, as I finished off a bowl of guacamole with my finger that evening, and shared a story about how I had never taken off my wedding ring (like I had a choice without the Jaws of Life), I realized I had yet to hit rock bottom. But surely after 2 weeks of hiking and chasing my kids at a higher altitude than my girth likes to accommodate, surely I lost weight, right? Surely?

Gained 10 pounds. Forgot the guac, forgot the vodka, forgot the beer, forgot the vodka, forgot the queso, and forgot the guac. and the vodka.

Ok, that's it, it's coming off. NOW. And if none of you have visited Rock Bottom in May, it's beautiful. Go, you wont regret it.

I got serious, and unreasonable, and determined. I dropped 30 pounds in 2 months... I covered the how in a separate post. It's easy enough, once you set your mind to it, and I did. But once I hit around that 25 pound mark, the comments started coming...

"Wow, you look great!"
"I cant believe how much weight you have lost!!"
"Have you lost, like, a LOT of weight?"

Really dramatic comments...shocked looks...that's the thing about Body Dysmorphic Disorder...I thought I looked fine before, but it turns out...I was fat. The real tip-off should have been that my clothing was dramatically too big now, clown-like in some cases, and that I now looked like a hobo in my suits. My self perception had never allowed for how fat I was, I guess. I have always looked in the mirror and seen fat, even when others convinced me I looked emaciated.

So, yes, I feel good. And I guess I NOW look good. The real question that keeps coming to mind is...

Exactly HOW fat was I??!!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Steal my identity? You're dumber than I thought!

This week someone chose to steal my identity...I never laughed so hard in my life. Next time do your homework, moron. In fact, for any of you prospective cyber-geniuses out there, next time simply ASK me for a balance sheet and a family tree. If you still think I am the best choice for your life reassignment, have a ball.

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My Little Buttercup

Prior to becoming a father, I went in search of future childhood memories for my daughter, things that she could look back on and say, My daddy taught me that!! And in line with another belief of mine, that all of life's lessons are covered in the movies, my daughter and I now share with you... Buttercup. We hope it brings you as much joy and changing-table-screaming-fit-turnarounds as it has brought our family. Learn, Sing, Love. DIGG this story

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Don't hate me because I'm rude...

A dear friend was sad recently, seems someone told her she was rude. She wrote, "apparently, i don't play well with others. i always thought i was just straightforward, but come to find out, i am rude and hurt people's feelings."

Now, I enjoy this woman for the exact reason she has been criticized. Someone who says it like it is should be revered, not chased from the village with torches and pitchforks. Being someone like her who doesn't enjoy deliberately hurting people's feelings, and often feeling compelled to act when I know I HAVE hurt someone, I empathize. But there is a key concept here...deliberate actions. She, nor I, say these things that are taken as hurtful deliberately, but we are still hated for the comment.

Take your neighborhood or family passive-aggressive personality that we all know and detest...we all have one or two lurking about at holiday gatherings, smiling at our hospitality, and then later blogging about their contempt for our lifestyle, child-rearing abilities, poor decorating taste or personal hygiene. One could easily argue that the decision to be passive-aggressive is a conscious and deliberate one, and yet to persecute these people is to kick sand in the face of the weakling. How is my deliberate action of saying what I am thinking worse than you keeping yours for delayed display when I am out of earshot??

Well, guess what...and herein lays the lesson...I could care less.

I will rarely deliberately hurt you. If I do, I am sorry. I said what I thought, I told it like it is, I have that right. Like the Dixie Chicks, sometimes we are all gonna say the wrong thing. Ask yourself, "Was it deliberately hurtful? If not, move on. I have.

Now...the REAL trick is, nobody is allowed to hurt you. Yup, easier said than done, I am aware...but that is the true lesson. We only get hurt because we gave someone the power to hurt us. If you consistently give people the power to sit in judgment over you, you will be hurt.

Square one is...I LIKE me. If you don't, well, each to their own. My mother, my wife, my kids and quite a few friends and family like me quite a bit, so it sounds like you might be missing a big plus in me. Regardless, I'm gonna look for the good in you.

And I'm gonna like you until you give me good reason not to.

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Weight loss is only math...and I hate math.

Repeat after me...Eat Less, Exercise More. Portion sizes in this country have continued to grow, as have the waistlines at Luby's and The Golden Corral. The southern US has become Canada's fat, dragging ass. And every time we turn around, some guru with a book is trying to sell us on low fat, low sugar, low salt, low carb...and every time we buy what they are selling, the only things we end up with are lower accounts and lower IQs.

Forget every fad, and go back to the science with me. Back to the numbers. To the...gulp...MATH. Wanna lose weight? Put down the 1100 calorie Chipotle Burrito and follow me to the chalkboard.

One Pound = 3500 Calories. It's that simple.

Think you gained 5 lbs of fat this weekend from the hedonistic binging you did? You might be carrying 5 extra pounds this morning, but it's not necessarily fat...yet. It's food, water, waste, and fat. But I guarantee you probably didnt consume 17,500 calories in 48 hours. If you did, take a bow...I'm impressed. Need help getting up now?

Back to the math. One Pound = 3500 Calories. That's the first component. Now, how many calories do you need to consume per day to simply maintain your current weight?? Five parts will figure into this: your height, your weight, your gender, your age, and your sedentary or active lifestyle. You will need a Calorie Calculator, and there is a great one found at

I'm 6 foot, 194 pounds, male, 40 years old, and am lightly active (and I am being generous with that characterization)...that means that I need 2636 calories to simply maintain my current weight. If I eat less than 2600 calories, I lose weight. If I eat more, I gain.

So now, if you are remotely competitive, you can really get into this. (it's free, by the way) has a HUGE database of foods and all their nutritional info, even if they are from a restaurant. So every day, you can enter into your profile your daily weight, and exactly what you consume, food and drink. Make a game of it.

When I was really intent on losing the weight, I would see how low I could go calorically, because the fewer I ingested, the faster my weight dropped. If I consumed only 1636 calories each day, I lost a pound every 3.5 days. Plus, in the process of entering all my foods into the database, I learned what everything "cost me", and could sub other foods in future that maybe were more substantive, and made me feel "fuller" for the same calorie total. Still today, I make a game every day of how few calories I can ingest, or what I can sub for what, etc...eating a lot of fruit, yogurt, wheat bread, and tracking it all.

Also, try a book called "eat this, not that"...great for fast food junkies like me, it has a total breakdown of what you should order rather than what you normally order.

One mood killer, however, the Chipotle Burrito with all the fixins...drumroll...1100 calories. A true, delicious gut bomb. Try TWO turkey sandwiches instead on wheat bread with lite miracle whip, avocado, mustard and and lettuce...only 550 calories...and filling...

And look at this: One whole large apple, 110 cals. One large banana, 110 cals. One lite vanilla yogurt, 110 cals. Cut up the fruit, mix in the yogurt, you have a big, filling lunch or breakfast for 330 calories. One large bowl of granola and raisins with skim milk instead, 600 cals..see the difference?

A recent study showed that people who tracked their diet were more successful at weight loss than those who did's about first making a game, and then keeping yourself in it.

Now is it EASY? No. The human motivational component will always be there. But the one thing I have really taken from this process is learning what my body needs, what is "too much", and finally balance in place of ritualistic gluttony.

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posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson