Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fat Guys, What’s up?

How do you do it? I would say I’m about 30 lbs overweight, but anyone who just met me wouldn’t think that I am. I had this philosophy in college that if my chest was bigger than my gut I’d always be okay. I started lifting weights after I graduated from high school. I’ve been lifting weights about four times a week since and I’m 30 now. The problem lies in the fact that I’ve about pushed the limit of my chest size. I don’t think it can really get any bigger. My gut, on the other hand, seems to be boundless. My gut seems to be in some sort of competition with my chest. The gut is beginning to win.

When I came back from New York, I weighed about 250 lbs. I figure for my height and body frame I should weigh about 220 lbs. I’ve been working pretty hard lately, and I’ve gotten down to 240 lbs. The main issue is that I think my once mighty metabolism has shut off. If I so much as eat a few pieces of fruit, I look like I just chugged 20 beers. When I eat even the smallest portions of the healthiest food I can find, my pants don’t fit all of the sudden. I can be comfortable at work, just doing fine, and after lunch, I feel like the button on my pants is about to shoot off like an X-Wing fleeing the Death Star.

Another big problem is that half of the pants I own are ripping at the seam on my butt. I don’t know what happened, but over the past year, I’ve had to retire several pairs of pants because of this problem. I try to sew them up but I’m a subpar seamstress at best. My pants just slowly start to spread apart as the workday goes on. By the end of the day, my pants actually feel more comfortable; however, it’s because they are slowly widening on their own. I guess they try to work with me – try to make my life more comfortable – but they simultaneously embarrass me.

Example 1:

This is the reverse-XYZ syndrome. XYZ means eXamine Your Zipper. Well, it’s not the zipper in this case; it’s my butt-side seam. Maybe at work people should say, XYBSS. Then I can quickly cover the opening in the back of my pants and slink out of the room blushing to the crowd and covering my behind.

Ex. 2

I’m an optimist and a problem solver, so here is the first solution that comes to mind: wear gym shorts under my pants at work, so when this happens it will by slightly less embarrassing. It’ll just be weird. I’ll be the guy who wears gym shorts under his slacks. Everyone will talk and gossip about it, but no one will remember there was a rip. The shorts will also remind me to go to the gym.

Here is the best solution: I’m not a 35 waist; I’m a 36! Just buy bigger pants in the future! Duh. This will require some time because I can’t just go to the store and buy a bunch of new pants. I can compromise though. We live by a bunch of Christian ministries and Salvation Army type stores. Maybe I could go in and stock up on big boy hand-me-downs. I can wear those until I am able to work in the new stylish pants that I buy from nicer stores. It’s win-win: I am comfortable with my ass seam intact and some poor people get some money. That’s how these types of places work, right?

Ex 3. These are my one and only suit pants. I had them professionally fixed :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Equality for the Married!

I’ve been married for 6 months or so at this point. When I was a kid, I always envisioned marriage to be a 50/50 partnership straight down the line. I thought the second the marriage official signed the paperwork objects ceased to be mine or hers but ours. In reality, she has her things and I have mine. This does not meet my idealized, childhood viewpoint of marriage. I’m going to try to fix that through a few posts.

The first issue is the car situation. We both have Hondas (for the obvious reliability) but mine sucks and hers is awesome. I have a Civic – the smaller, wienery of the two. It’s made out of cheap plastic that breaks easily. For example, I was backing out of my driveway a couple of months ago and cut my wheel to fast and went over the curb just slightly. I know it’s against some sort of man code, but I have trouble backing up.* When I checked out my car to see if it was all right, the bumper was slightly loose. On further inspection, my cheapo car’s bumper connects to the body with these a series of little circular, graspy things. One of them was broken. The grasps are about a centimeter in diameter and made of plastic. No shit? It broke? Crazy, huh? My solution to a problem like this is to just ignore it. What’s the worst that could happen? The bumper falls off? I don’t need a bumper. I see Mexican dudes around my hood driving cars without bumpers every morning. Their cars seem to drive perfectly straight. So I am currently still ignoring it and it is currently still dangling.

My car also stinks. I’ve had it for 2 years or so and it smells funny. Not ha-ha funny like a fart but peculiar funny like there might be a dead body in the woods near your house. I do have many fond memories of getting fast food and cramming French fries or tacos down my throat over those 2 years. Maybe some of the tacos/fries missed and ended up under my seat. I’ve been spraying Febreeze in car periodically to counteract the smell, but it just smells like Febreeze and shit. I’ve tried to look under my seat for uneaten food, but I can’t really see and my hands are too big to feel around. It is an unfixable problem. Maybe I can take it to a dealership and when they ask me, what’s the problem, I can say, it stinks. Maybe they have a guy with really small hands who can dig out the Cheetos. Maybe they will have to take the seat out to get under it. Who knows.

Going along with the stink, someone put some stains on my cloth seats. There is a bunch of smudged chocolate on the passenger seat. I don’t eat chocolate, so it couldn’t have been me. I do have two dogs and I have to drive them around sometimes (the vet, Petsmart, they want to go for a drive to get away from their stressful lives of sleeping, eating, and genitalia licking, etc.). I hope it wasn’t the dogs. They can’t eat chocolate. It makes them sick.

The clock doesn’t work either. It is currently moving through time faster than the rest of us. It used to be 2 minutes off and now it’s 7 minutes off. The Japanese use the metric system, so maybe Honda’s metric time converter is on the fritz.

It’s fully established that my car sucks. My wife’s car has XM radio, leather seats, and smells like it’s owner is a clean woman who likes her car to smell good. Since we are married now, I think this whole that’s your car, this is my car situation needs to end. We need to be a singular unit. I propose that whoever wakes up earlier gets to choose. This should be first come, first serve. I know what you’re thinking: you’re a teacher, so don’t you wake up super early? Doesn’t she have a normal, real job – one that starts at 9:00? That’s not the point. It’s about equality, not the semantics of who wakes up first. Equality for all!

*I have a messed up neck from getting excited when UT scored against Oklahoma a couple of years ago and jumping with joy only to quickly realize that I was standing under a door frame. My neck crunched, and apparently, I’ve got such mad hops that I made a little crack in the frame and a tuft of my hair got caught. Since then, turning my head is not so easy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ultra Paranoia

I’m ultra paranoid. As long as I have been an adult, I’ve been like this. I don’t remember checking locks several times during commercials as a kid. I do that now. We have three doors in our house and I check them constantly. I don’t have OCD; at least, I don’t think I do. I figure if I had OCD, it would be more like lock, unlock, lock, unlock, lock, unlock, etc. It’s usually just one tug on the door to make sure it’s locked.

The next two days are the types of instances when it gets worse. My wife is out of town. My 120 lb protector is gone! Now it’s just two pugs and me. While one of my pugs is overweight, I don’t think he could do too much damage against home invaders. Maybe he could overpower them with his super cute powers. Maybe when they look into his droopy eyes and smashed up face they’d be so entranced that I’d be able to get them with my baseball bat.

My baseball bat is my other protector. One of the problems with that is I never played baseball as a kid. Maybe I could hypnotize the invaders with my limp-wristed, effeminate swing, and while they roll on the floor laughing I could run to safety.

I imagine safety would be my neighbor’s house. They drive a truck and seem a little country, so I assume they have a Kereshian-type arsenal. I could cower behind my neighbor’s burly chest while she mows them down.

When I was in college, I used to keep a hammer next to my bed to thwart off evil college invaders. Even while it was there, it struck me as stupid because I was supplying the murder weapon.

“How’d he die?” the cop would say.

The other cop would say, “By his own stupidity.”

I’ve thought about getting a gun. My dad insists that is a horrible idea. I suppose he’s right. I don’t think my wife would be too happy about her nice home d├ęcor adorned with bullet holes. Lots of bullet holes. Ever night I hear something: ghosts, male rapists (the kind that rape men), home invaders. LOTS of bullet holes.

I bet bullet holes all over our house would work though. Who would break into a house with bullet holes all over it? Either it’s a crack house – in which case there is nothing to steal – or a mad, paranoid weirdo lives there.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Short Post on the Vietnamese

When I was a kid, my family had a close relationship with our Vietnamese neighbors. They were our best friends until my family moved even deeper into the suburbs and lost contact. One of my fondest memories of them was hanging out in their house eating Vietnamese food. Some of my favorite delectable treats were these crunchy, curly, eggy kind of things. I always thought they were so tasty and I would crunch on them all of the time. I always thought, man, I wish my parents would shop at the store with the crazy drawing name (Vietnamese characters). Vietnamese food is the bomb!

When I got to college, I learned I was eating uncooked Ramen noodles.

Happy Birthday, Loser!

My birthday was this past Saturday. I am thirty years old now, and this means little to me. I’m not the type of person who’s going to get down about this, and I really didn’t want any type of fuss made.

However, the issue here is that my wife’s friend was having a birthday party for her husband on that day. In my mind, here is the ultimate loser scenario: we walk in to this party and begin to mingle. *On a side note, rather than map all of the relationships out, just know at this party there were probably two people I am friends with and one who is on the top 5 friends level.

Here is what I imagine this virus of a conversation would have been like:

Good Friend: (loud enough voice for 3 or 4 random people to hear) Happy birthday, man!

1st Random Person: (mouthing to date) Are we celebrating someone else’s birthday, too?

2nd Random Person: (whispering to her conversation buddy) Hey, I think it’s that husky guy’s birthday, too. Where are his friends?

3rd Random Person: (Normal voice to someone across the party) Did you hear? It’s that paunchy, goofball’s birthday? I heard all of his friends had an intervention regarding his decidedly lame personality and ending up kicking him out of their circle.

4th Random Person: (to no one in particular but pointing at me) That fat douche bag is a loser with no friends.

Thank goodness I didn’t go!

Here’s the other issue. It was a costume party – in August, go figure. Apparently, the theme was “Around the World.” People were supposed to dress up like people all over the world. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Regardless, I have sworn off costume parties after last Halloween. I’ve reached the point where all of my friends are either too old or too cool to dress up anymore. While they had lost any trace of youthfulness and imagination, I had the best costume ever!

I always try to go for funny because serious doesn’t really fit my personality. Any way, what’s a serious costume? Colin Powell? Malignant tumor? Also, topical costumes don’t work for me either because I’m always behind the curve. I’d be the person who would dress as the lady from the early 2000's show The Weakest Link in 2010. I guess it would be a great conversation piece because everyone would have to ask why I’m dressed as a young Elton John?

Back to the point, all of my friends wore costumes that were obviously put together that morning or just old hooker costumes they had from college – seriously ladies, let’s come up with some other sexy ideas! My costume was the Marvel Comics character the Black Cat. You might be thinking to yourself, isn’t that a girl character? You are right! Good for you and your knowledge of comic book heroes. I dressed like this:

No one else matched my zeal. Next year, I’m just going to draw on a Hitler mustache and goes as Michael Jordan (google it!).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dead bodies in Fields… creepy!

When I was a kid for as long as I could remember whenever I was in a car and passed a field with tall grass, I would wonder how many dead bodies were in the field. A field the size of tennis court had to at least have 8 bodies rotting away. Whether or not I believed that there actually were dead bodies, the idea of fields with tall grass made me think of dead bodies until I was like 15. I’m sure at some point I realized that decaying carcasses create nauseating odors that the cops could probably smell too. So, I’ve moved on to thinking numerous other places store dead bodies. Even today on the way home from my traditional weekend of burrito eating (I finally reached 15 burritos –not in one sitting of course – and EARNED a free t-shirt from Freebirds), my wife, sister-in-law and I passed the ghetto-est looking storage unit I’ve ever seen in Houston, and that is saying a lot. The walls and roofs were made out of that wavy metal that sheds are made out of sometimes, and I said, “I bet there are some dead bodies in there.” And my sister-in-law pointed out that I say that all the time. Huh.

That was the first time that I was really cognizant of this quirk. Thinking back though, in New York we drove by all sorts of vineyards and I'd ponder, "I bet there are some dead bodies over there." At Lake Keuka: "I bet there are some dead bodies at the bottom."

I often wonder if there are dead bodies in the foundations of the houses in my neighborhood. I imagine some construction workers were arguing over the last burrito and – BAM! – a shovel across the back of the head. What’s the next logical step? Encase his body in a cement coffin under someone’s house; it’s the perfect crime.

I bet someone puts a dead body in the garbage bin at least once a week somewhere in Houston. Someone must have come up with some anti-stink spray that I’m unaware of.

P.S. Here is the proof of my victory.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hillbilly v. Redneck

My wife and I got into a discussion the other day regarding which term is more offensive: redneck or hillbilly. My wife believes redneck to be worse; while I went with hillbilly. Here is my point-counterpoint against myself.

1. Literal Meanings

Redneck: They have red necks. What exactly does this mean? Is it simply because working outside can result in sun burnt necks? Too simple. It has to be because someone got slapped on the back of their neck. “Bubba, ya dumass. Tha ho’se shit go in that pile. Yo shit go in that pile.” SMACK

Hillbilly: Well, if the word is broken down the first part is hill. When I think of hills, Heidi and Spencer come to mind. By the way, how sad is it that I can say their first names and you get it? Shame on you. Billy makes me think of goats. Goats will eat anything, right? I’ve seen them eat cans and so forth on Tom and Jerry and that must be factual. So the literal meaning of a Hillbilly conjurers up images of Speidi eating garbage – not just being garbage. ZING!

Point: Hillbilly.

2. Online Dictionary Meanings – I use Merriam-Webster Online. I am partial to this website because I wrote an essay about it in college when I took Lexicography: The Making of Dictionaries. It was a chilling piece.

Redneck: sometimes disparaging: a white member of the Southern labor class.

First off, MW straight up calls the word out: disparaging! But it’s only disparaging sometimes though. For example, if you don’t know how to read and someone sends you a letter that starts with “Dear stinky, Redneck…” how can that be disparaging? It’s just a bunch of squiggly lines!

Hillbilly: a person from the backwoods.

Backwoods makes me think of the movie Deliverance. In this movie, a hillbilly tries (I think tries, maybe has success) to rape a city boy who is ordered to squeal like a pig. Both rape and fantasized bestiality are really looked down upon.

Point: Hillbilly. Illiteracy is one thing but we as a society cannot stand for swine rape.

3. Shoes

Rednecks: Cowboy boots or work boots. Nothing wrong with that.

Hillbilly: Mud, twigs, and straw.

Point: Redneck. Shoes are heavy and binding.

4. Cuisine

Redneck: Opossum. Opossums make scary noises and are mean. If some have to die to feed a family so be it.

Hillbilly: Mud, twigs, and straw.

Point: Redneck. Mud that’s heavy in clay has necessary calcium. Everything a pregnant woman needs to nurse! Smart hillbillies.

5. Odd Fact

Redneck: They have reached a high level of success. When I typed in “redneck” to Merriam-Webster, an ad for Jeff Foxworthy came up. No BS. I also typed in “sucks” and an ad for The Hills popped up. ZING, again!

Hillbilly: When I took biology in high school, I remember learning that some hillbillies in the Appalachian Mountains had blue skin because of a genetic disorder and inbreeding. The Na’vi from Avatar are hillbillies!

Point: Hillbilly. Blue skin because of inbreeding is the top of the offensive white person term pyramid!

Score: 3-2. Sorry Rednecks. You’ll just have to carry on maintaining your precious dignity.

More importantly. Point: Me 1, Wife 0.

Monday, August 16, 2010

--New York - Part 1

This summer my wife and I went to upstate New York for a bit of a vacation. We weren’t there for too long, but I feel like I got to experience the culture of the area. Let me preface this by saying that the farthest north on the east coast I’ve ever been is Atlanta (probably not east coast, right?). I’d like to think it’s because the North has snow sometimes, and if cartoons and comics have taught me anything, shoveling snow is backbreaking work – thank you for the enlightenment Family Circus. Plus, you can slip on it! And it’s cold on your skin! And it gets dirty and gross! I could go on and on, but I’ll progress here.

In New York, we went to a lake house my father-in-law rented at Lake Keuka, which is about an hour and a half outside of Rochester. One of the reasons we went there was to have a quasi-family reunion. This is where the story begins. I could probably spin a million yarns (plural sounds weird) about the events that took place there, but this story remains the best to come out of the extended weekend.

My wife has an Uncle and Aunt who are in their late 60’s, and both are extremely affable and lovely people. Two things to know: 1) her uncle told one hilarious story after another. 2) her aunt’s personality would best be described as ditzy (I mean this the nicest way possible). Here is the story he told to my wife and me:

*I’m going to say Uncle and Aunt as if they are proper nouns. Take it as such, like there are these people with these names. Like someone named Junior.

When Aunt had her second son (the fact that it was the second is important because she should know better), she had just reached the point of being able to bring him home from the hospital. They had the crib set up, the diapers ready, etc. and bringing a baby home wasn’t really a new experience. According to Uncle, the baby weighed quite a bit and slightly resembled the guys one might see at a NASCAR event who have beer bellies that dip well below their Confederate belt buckles (not condescending – watch NASCAR and see for yourself). One day after Aunt changed the baby’s diapers, she noticed that something was off (no pun intended). She couldn’t find his penis. She looked all over her little butterball and couldn’t find his penis anywhere! As one might imagine, this was a concern for her. Was her son now a GIRL?!? Can babies spontaneously change sex like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? Like any good mother, she concluded that the next logical step would be to call the doctor. It’s hard to imagine the doctor’s reaction when he received this call. It’s a joke that just writes itself:

Woman: Doc, I’ve lost my son’s penis!

Doctor: Where was the last place you remembered having it?


Woman: Doc, I’ve lost my son’s penis!

Doctor: I’m sure it’s there; it’s probably just hard to find. He must be _________ (fill in the person/group of people you wish to offend).

(Well, they write themselves for a funnier person.)

Apparently doctors are all serious, so he told her to calm down, keep looking around and she’d find it.

Back to Uncle actually telling the story: She hears what he is saying – she was talking to some of her other relatives within earshot – and says, “That’s not how it happened.” She proceeds to tell the exact same story without a hint of embarrassment or reservation. Only she adds that she looked for the penis in the crib, around the crib, beneath the crib - every preposition possible. She might have even tried looking despite the crib; I don’t know.

One might wonder is there some man who has the privates (that’s right, I used that word) of a troll doll? A man who has never experienced that gut wrenching feeling of being kicked in the testicles for saying a girl looks dumpy – what the hell, I was too young to know any better! A New York mythical figure that has legends written about him suggesting around the Finger Lakes in upstate New York at night one can hear the wind whisper, “Have you seen my penis?”

No, they found his penis gently tucked up under his belly. It happens to us all. Yeah, you with the beer belly; you know what I’m talking about.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Protoss v. Plumber

This week might have been the most frustrating week ever in my household. Our refrigerator stopped working. That implies the whole thing but actually it was just the fridge and not the freezer. It was a slow, painful death for all of the shit in our fridge. As the fridge got warmer and warmer, we started putting our goods in the freezer side, which was also beginning to say, “I'm with Fridge. Sucks to work!” Despite its defiant nature, it maintained a middle ground between freezing and Mr. Fridge’s job. This worked well enough because the chicken breasts and tubes of ground beef were staying cool enough to not go bad (on a side note, I am bleeding out of my anus now), but the denizens of the fridge were too cold. I made a sandwich with bits of ice chunk mayonnaise. It isn’t fun to bite into a scrumptious, mesquite turkey sandwich with bits of frozen mayonnaise in it. I’m a texture guy when it comes to eating: fuck frozen mayo. It’s sick. I digress.

These guys were coming to the house all week, and because I am a teacher and have nothing to do over the summer, I stayed home and wait for these guys. I don’t have to go into a rant about how asshole-ish the guys can be because everyone knows. Everyone has heard the line, “They’ll be there between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.”

On another note, I just received Starcraft II from Brother 2 for my birthday, which counter intuitively hasn’t happened yet (I’ll get into that later). I’m not a video game guy. I suck at video games and always have sucked. When I played Mario Bros on NES, I could never make Mario land on a platform with lava on either side. He always slid his Italian ass off. The only game I could ever play was MarioKart for Super Nintendo. I owned it! I was good at it too.

Back to the story, I suck at Starcraft. I played the original when it came out. I sucked at that. I enjoy playing because I can beat some people sometimes (I suspect they have carpal tunnel syndrome with wands attached to their wrists which makes them type slowly, and they don’t have fingers).

The morning that these plumbers came over to look at our washer, I was gaming it up. I had been gaming it up since I woke up. This includes teeth that had not been brushed yet, boxer briefs that had not been covered with any type of shorts that are accepted by the public (BTW, not a sexy kind of boxer briefs but the fat guy kind), and eye gunk still intact. As I was in the middle of an epic game (I can say this now because I play video games!), the plumber knocked on the door. I was playing a multiplayer game, which means I can’t pause. If I don’t answer the door (thought about it), Wife would murder me because she had been orchestrating the whole plumbing thing behind the scenes. She dealt with the warranty company and the plumbing company; all I had to do was stop playing. Just stop.

I find a middle ground (I think I’ve already used every synonymous term for this already) and keep the game going. Of the three problems I have (dirty teeth, underwear, and eye goop), I make the decision to go with shorts. I’m sure if the plumber knew he would thank me for that level of civility.

Here is the conversation:

Me: "Good morning, How ya doing?"

Plumber: "Is it still morning?"

Me: I look at the clock and see it’s 1:30 or so. “Huh, yeah. I guess not. Let me show you the washer.”

Plumber: He takes a look.

Me: As my heartbeats more than it should in this scenario, I scurry to my office room to make sure everything is okay. The Protoss are at bay. The plumber says, "Sir," about 8 times.

Me: "Uh... Yes?"

Plumber: Plumbing stuff

Me: Walk into the washroom. “What do you think is wrong?”

Plumber: “It’s an easy fix…" <plumber talk>

Computer: Mayday!!!, Mayday!!! (Loudly resonates through my house. We can both hear it. He’s sizing me up because I look like a jock but he sees my bloodshot eyes, a hot pocket wrapper, and can smell the Dr. Pepper on my breath. He knows. Oh, he knows.)

Me: “Huh, you don’t say.”

This is where I point out to you that I know nothing about anything handy. It’s almost like I choose to not know though I desperately want my wife to believe I can do the simplest tasks. I pray to God she doesn’t ask me to change her tire or pump her car… like a jump, or whatever.)

Plumber: “Well, if you cut a hole…”

Computer: "Help! Help! We’re under attack!"

Me: Glance over my shoulder in the direction of the computer room.

Plumber: “We can do it but it will cost…”

Computer: “Ahhhhhhhh!” In a blood curdling manner.

Me: Anexity

Plumber: “Do you understand?”

Computer: “We’re fucking dying here!”

Me:”Uh, yeah. I’ll… have to talk to my wife… and Vespian Gas… and so forth.”

Plumber: “Vespian Gas?”

Me: “Uh, heard about it on… Protoss... right in the ass… tv.”

Plumber: “Ok… tell your wife to give us a call.”

How emasculating is that? Hey, you’re too nerdy to understand what we’re talking about, so would you get your wife to call us?

I am SO going to fuck up the next guy I play for this inconvenience.