Of course where I'm from, Mardi Gras has a different sort of meaning...I'm bringing beads.
[Listening to: Sex Pistols – "Holidays in The Sun" ]
Of course where I'm from, Mardi Gras has a different sort of meaning...I'm bringing beads.
Either that, or you find yourself somewhere that reminds youI don't know -- sometimes I can't help but be keenly aware of just how solitary my lifestyle is, and what I need more than anything is someone to talk to, even if it's just useless conversations about inane crap. Sometimes you just want to be around people, have something going on other than the bubbling of the lava lamp or the babble from the television set.
of the things you don't like about yourself -- which is never fun.
I mean, lets be honest here -- these are good looking guys who know how to play the game, and would (and probably do) continue the hunt whether I was there or not. But If I get one more wordless nod of the head accompanied with a motioning of the eyes towards the door, or a sudden need to "Close the place down early since it's only the three of us anyways.. You want a free one for the road?" I'm gonna take a hostage.As a result, I've been getting third wheeled a lot lately -- and it's starting to get old.
It reminds me of the situation so@24 had recently where he got together with the boys to hang out and swap stories, only to realize he didn't have any stories to swap. I mean, in the end it matters nothing and it doesn't change anything about what kind of person he is or the connection he has with his buddies,But I mean, what can you do -- Go into the bar and say, "Hey Ralph -- stop getting laid?"
But that doesn't make it suck any less.Maybe people are gonna read that wrong and think that everythings about comparison or whatever, but that's not really it. It's more about that feeling of negative resonance that it seems like sometimes you just can't seem to get away from, especially at the times when you're trying to escape it the most.
Leaving you sitting on the couch alone, drunkenly wishing you had a time machine, scads
of frequent flyer miles, or at the very least friends who get publicly shot down once in a while.
Honestly, Internet -- isn't this the kind of thing you're supposed to be good at?Anyways, as much as I'd like to share every second of the brilliance (at least in my mind) that was the episode that first introduced us to David Cross playing the part of "Slow Donnie" -- this is the best I could come up with:
Which cracks me up to no end, but without any corroborating evidence of any of the rest of the jokes or setup from that particular episode not only leaves anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about in the dark, but also serves to make me look like more of a dork than I probably already do at this point.
Look bro. I love boobs as much as the next guy. But this two fully clothed actresses running through a grass field -- with the suggestion being (I guess) that we're supposed to be all gaga at what might be happening under the shirt of the semi-famous one? I mean, are you kidding? This is what gets you going? It isn't even hot. In fact, considering the fact that you just had to go and do that whole lets-roll-the-tape-backwards-and-watch-those-puppies-jiggle-in-reverse trick makes the whole thing just sorta creepy.And while I'm at it, can I just speak for a moment to the dude who posted this video?
No doubt the Internet is home to crazies, weirdos, and childish behavior -- but you get the idea if the guy who posted this were to accidentally set foot inside a Hooter's, his head would explode.What are you, 12?
Ladies, this man does not speak for the rest of us.This one does:
One of which must have been the virtual equivalent of sacrificingFirst it was little things, like displaying the names of songs I uploaded, but then not actually playing them. Then it started storing my podcasts in the song library, hiding them inside the "various artists" category.
a chicken over a pentagram -- because now it's acting really weird.
But then as I was putting all these things back on the shelves and packing it all up I realized that there were like 3 or 4 CD's that I had passed over while getting all this stuff that might be good to have on the Nano as well. So I opened iTunes back up and tagged on a couple of beloved favorites from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, and The Cure.Miles Davis -- check.
Frank Zappa -- bring it on.
Living Colour -- plenty of room
Mindless Self Indulgence -- dos of those babies
Cibo Matto -- entire library, thank you very much
Nothingface, Nonpoint, Deftones, Taproot, Sevendust, Skindred, Motograter, Ankla -- oh hell yeah
Meshell Ndegeocello, Prince, James Brown, John Legend, Marvin Gaye -- ain't no party without no ripple
Bowie, Hendrix, Talking Heads, King Crimson, PIL, Radiohead, The Police, TMDR, -- gotta have it
The Clash, Sex Pistols, Social Distortion, Vandals, Dead Kennedys -- I can't believe all this is fitting on here
Various one-offs, guilty pleasures (more on this later), and j's mix CD's -- All right, that's probably enough.
Look, I like the stuff. It's good music. Hell -- I'm the one who put it on there. But it's just one of the many different styles of music that I enjoy -- and I sure as hell didn't spend two days stuffing songs onto this thing just so I could hear Bela Lugosi's Dead four goddamn times in a row.Cure Peter Murphy Cure Birthday Massare Cure Cure
Love and Rockets Siouxie Sioux Cure Cure Bauhaus Cure
I mean, I'm not the worlds best math guy or anything, but if the shuffle function is supposed to choose random songs from a library that's already pushing 900+ items -- how the heck does something like that even happen?It's like the ghost of some bitter little goth has gotten in there and taken over.
Ted S.; college roommate, former friend, and slumlord to us all for the first few years we lived in that off-campus apartment at FSU -- was infamous in the house for his obsession with two things: Listening to classic rock and telling anyone who would listen about the superior qualities of his super-expensive and finely tuned stereo equipment.I'll tell you how -- Ted must have gotten to it.
There was only one problem:It was the weirdest thing. He'd set it up and put in one of his endless collection of greatest hits albums ("What, you guys don't like Boston? -- That's cool, because I've got Foreigner too.") and they would play like a dream.Ted's CD player wouldn't play any of our stuff.
He'd get all mad and huffy, call the whole idea ridiculous -- but no matter what we put in there, whether it was John Coltrane or Snoop Dogg it would just sputter, spin, and then flash the words "No Disc" before our eyes. What's worse, whenever we put the same CD's in Spruill's little $20 boombox they would play just fine -- which only added fuel to the fire.And we'd be all like: "No way dude -- Your CD player is racist!"
..I can't tell you how much happier things became the day he finally gotOf course none of this is gonna do anything help me figure out what to do about the ghost in the shell inside my Nano so I can randomly hear tracks by 40 Below Summer again. I mean, I guess I can put together playlists or whatever -- but to be honest, I was kinda looking forward to hearing what a shuffle mix of all my different musical tastes might sound like.
into his CRX with the tiny speakers in the doors and drove out of our lives.
Then again, I could always call in a professional:
In other words -- I think the time has finally come to shut off the computer, stand
aside my fellow man, and find out what's really happening in the world around me:
-- News Conference, LA County Courtroom, 1/14/08..Nevermind.
Otherwise known as: Two Out of Three Things that I Do All the Frikkin' Time.Two out of three because I am among the tivo-less, (but I'd be willing to bet all the warranty cards I've never sent back that if someone gave me one of those things tomorrow, I'd be doing that too).
Movie nights rock anyways, even with the worst of films -- and maybe the fact that I don't have anyone to really share them with right now makes it easier for me to pass on things that would normally bring out the movie snob in me and go for mindless junk that can be ingested and forgotten easily instead (case in point -- I'm all about zombie flicks, and I love me some Milla Jovovich, but Resident Evil: Extinction was such a complete yawner that I tuned out about halfway through -- I was actually mad at myself when I realized the credits were rolling and I didn't even bother to watch the big fight at the end).To me there's nothing better than seeing a movie with someone and sharing that moment where you're so unanimously annoyed/pissed off that you actually have to press the pause button so that your complaints about it can be aired without distracting you from the rest of the film itself.
At the same time, there are soo many movies out there at any given time that unless you give time to it every week (and who really has time/money for that anymore) seeing everything you want to becomes a chore in itself.Not that I actually rewound it and watched it or anything -- but if I
spent money on something, I should have at least tried to watch it, right?
..Which I guess should be called Waitbooking?
Comments for this post will only be accepted if they are written David Caruso/Horatio Crane style.Anything less.. (puts on sunglasses) would be criminal.
Three things you need to know about Cloverfield.I hope I'm wrong about this. Honestly I do. I love Giant Monster/Godzilla-style movies, and when I first heard about this thing started to get really jazzed for it. But honestly, once a marketing campaign these days gets past the viral stage and they're still jerking people around like this what it usually is means they've got something to hide.#1. Once you see the monster, the movie is over.
Um, hello -- Blair fucking Witch Project much? Is anyone really chomping at the bit to shell out $10 this weekend to see a bunch of hipsters and pretty girls running, screaming, and cowering in hospital wards throughout lower Manhattan, or are you simply hoping to finally get a good look at the monster?..Yeah, I thought so.Well bad news people -- because all that hipster-hospital-ohmygod-what-is-it-why-us-what-did-we-do-to-deserve-this-where's-Heather-I-thought-she-was-with-you-she-was-just-here-a-minute-ago drama?Don't expect to see any more than an elbow or an asshole of the bad guy until at least the last half hour.That's what you're gonna get.
Because I gotta tell you, once you see him -- the spell will be broken. He won't be big enough, you'll see a zipper, the computer-generated edges will be too noticeable, he'll be in too many scenes where he's like 10 miles away and the whole "shaky cam" gimmick will only give you so much perspective on him...
Think about it: the main force behind this thing is the guy who produced Lost. You know, the show that had people on the hook for like 2 years and then told them that the evil killer presence walking around inside the tropical island was a polar bear.Seriously, have any of you been to a freak show -- ever? I'm not talking about that Lollapalooza Jim Rose bullshit where you pay $20 to watch some meth addict stick a carpentry nail in his eyeball, I'm talking about that tent outside the traveling circus that wants you to pay $5 to see the "Dog Boy" -- only to find yourself standing in a darkened room staring at some teenage hillbilly with a leash around his neck in a cage chewing on a bone with what seems like the kind of facial hair growth you'd get if you didn't shave for a month?Polar bear. Tropical Island.
Who doesn't love a payoff like that?
Maybe it's just because I live in Florida and I've been to the bait and switch capital of the world, better known as St. Augustine's Old Town far too many times -- but there comes a point where you start to wonder exactly why it is they are keeping this such a complete secret.So yeah, after you're done seeing Cloverfield -- give me a call and I'll take you to see the#2. If you want to see this movie, make sure you see it first or at least before your buddies/friends do.
honest-to-goodness-no-that's-really-it-see-it-says-so-on-your-ticket Fountain of Youth.Trust me, it's awesome (and huge, btw).
Because by Saturday images of the monster and spoiler reviews will be everywhere -- and anyone you know who has seen it will be armed with the one fact about the movie you don't know, and even if they don't give it away (which you know they totally will anyways), you'll be able to read enough from their eyes to know too much going in.
The reasons movies like the Saw and The Sixth Sense tend to resonate with people is because the twist at the end is just icing on the cake. There's enough content or shocking moments in actual film to wrap your head around that the huge revelation at the end only really adds depth to the things you've already come to like about the film.But think about it, every time you watch The Usual Suspects now that you know who Kaizer Soze actually is, doesn't the experience kinda pale in comparison to that first time when you didn't?If you didn't learn your lesson with Blair Witch, think for a second about War of the Worlds (either the original or the Spielberg remake). The Tripods. They're monsters, they're huge, ruthless, unstoppable killing machines. We have to find a way to stop them before they kill us all. How are we gonna stop them?..Wait, how did we stop them?Look, I know War of the Worlds is an old school sci-fi allegory that Speilberg ramped up and made into a bigger thriller -- but my original complaint about the story still holds, namely -- what's to stop the aliens from coming back to earth, buying some Sudafed, and then killing us all?Oh yeah, we didn't. They caught the flu, and then just sorta died. Movie over.And if you haven't seen that flick and I just ruined it for you -- understand this is exactly how you're gonna feel when you're standing in line for the 3:00 show and some zit-faced teenager and his friends are walking out saying, "That was stupid, who would ever believe New York could be destroyed by a giant squid (or whatever it turns out to be)?"#3. You've already seen it.
The director can dress it up any way he wants, but I'm telling you -- you've already been here, just with a different name:
..like perhaps a crappy movie that could still pull good opening weekend numbersSo don't come crying to me if you sit in a theater for an hour and a half only to realize that the creature that ripped off the Statue of Liberty's head and terrorized New York City turns out to be Larry the Cable Guy or Cedric the Entertainer on stilts.
if they can just manage to keep up this PT Barnum shtick for like two more days?
..Or when they make 10 more sequels of it.
It was good fun, and it allowed me more opportunities for death scenes --The reason that I bring this up is that I currently make my living working for an multinational corporation. Which means that as much as I'm thankful for the gig, and like the place I'm working at -- I hold no aspersions to the fact that somewhere far up the ladder of this company there's a guy in a black cloak wringing his hands and laughing evilly while he muses over his plans to screw someone over somewhere in the world in the name of his new world order that will finally end this pointless conflict and bring balance to the galaxy.
which were always my favorite part of playing good guys versus bad guys.
Lurking somewhere beneath the fliers offering discount tickets to Universal Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights and this month's training schedule is the proof that underneath it all, waiting to strike is the ultimate desire of your corporate overlords for all the employees to dress in the same outfits, drive special vehicles, and attack all that is right and good in this world.But make no mistake, it's there.
Every manufacturing company has one of these, and for good reason. Things are dangerous. People get hurt from time to time. No joke, we make laser scalpels and endoscopic blades here. All day, every day people work with saws, lathes, presses, and all sorts of other things that could easily screw up any one's good looks if they aren't careful. Safety equipment around here isn't just required, it's common sense.Which is where I kinda have a problem, because this is ours:
Which is exactly why I feel like this new poster campaign is suspect.Seriously, it's not like the guy who uses the ultrasonic welders around here needs to be reminded that wearing goggles is a good idea. He's probably the one who went to the boss one day with singe marks on his fingertips and said "What the hell man, does someone have to die around here before you tightwads fork out for some gloves?"
I mean it's not really that hard to come up with a smiling animal to represent the rank and file and their specific need to wear safety glasses when working around machines. But being a big-dollar corporation, you know that there were meetings. Teams of specialists assigned to the task of whittling down all the possible choices until they found the one that best represented not only the need for safety awareness, but a perfect metaphor for what a happyWhich in my mind means that the symbol chosen
to represent this message could have been anything.
OK -- maybe I could see the shell being the precursor for some sort of body armor, but even so -- does the idea of a horde of evil turtles really strike fear into the heart of anyone?But seriously, a Turtle?
How about Giant Safety Mecha-Killbot? That's got a nice ring to it.Or if you're really stuck to the whole Turtle thing, maybe jazz it up a little -- like Hey Kids, it's Tommy Tortoise -- The Remorseless Ninja of Death! At least have him transform into a jet fighter, or get one of his hands changed into a claw or something. For crying out loud, turtles in the Pokemon world have guns on their backs -- is this really the best we could come up with?
To me that sounds a hell of a lot better than standing up in front of the United Nations holding up the severed head of the commander of the worlds resistance forces and saying: "Your armies have been defeated and your defenses are in ruins. The leaders of your world governments have surrendered to our might -- so throw down your arms and accept your true fate..How about this:Gamera says,"Be Safety Smart -- Always check the city streets for moving cars or attacking tanks before stomping the buildings and eating the people. And remember, high-rise office buildings are built with sharp glass that can often become a projectile risk when broken. So no open-toed shoes while on the rampage -- and put on those glasses, k?"
Kneel before Safety Sam!!
Generate a fake band and it's first album:Serves as many people that are willing to take the time to glom on and do one themselves (although if you do, please leave a link or whatever in the comments so we can all go see what you came up with and swoon over it). Part of a complete balanced breakfast. Professional driver on closed course, do not attempt without parent or guardian supervision.Step 1: Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
Step 2: Go to http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote are the title of your album.
Step 3: Go to http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
The third picture -- no matter what it is, is your album cover.Throw it all into some image editing software, mix well, and voila!
p.s. -- Where was this back in college when I needed it?I mean, sure Kamojang sounds kinda lame -- but
it's still better than Soulphoto any day, knammsayin?
That's when he comes out.I'm never more of an annoying white guy than when I'm complaining that things in my life have changed from what they used to be. Not that guys from other cultures don't get mad about these sorts of things too, but that somehow honky complaining about quality of life now versus when they were younger brings out the worst in those of us who can't escape what we are, regardless of how much we dislike the image it presents.
All that being said, I'm pissed.It's the same mental attitude that has launched a thousand ruined cultural relationships -- and I'm not trying to crack back on anyone here (even inadvertantly), but you know just as much as I do that there is nothing more infuriating than when things you are used to start working a different way, or disappear altogether.
And all of this would be ok, because you know -- shit breaks. It's just part of living in the go-go-gadget world, and as frustrating as it can be there's really no use whining about it, especially when you paid the extra cake to ensure that you could repair/replace said gadget should this sort of thing happen.All Dude ever wanted was his rug back.
Man, I loved that thing. I don't know if anyone who ever visited this site actually ever clicked on any of the song clips I put on here ..ever, but because music is such a big deal in my life, I always liked having those tunes there. And not just as a way to add a multi-media appeal for readers, but also as sort of a scrapbook of who I was at the time I was listening to the tune. I know it sounds kinda corny, but if you click on the archives and notice the kinds of artists and songs I put in the bottom corners of the entries -- it sometimes helps zoom in on certain memories, certain people who came into my life at that time who affected my musical tastes, introduced me to new artists, or put me in certain moods reflected by listening choices I made at that particular moment in time.Gonzo.
See what I mean?In the end it matters nothing. It's just something I used to like that went away, probably in the name of moving up to something cooler that I'd probably like even better if I'd just give it a chance. Beyond that, getting mad about it and complaining this way makes me look kinda doofy and uptight -- which despite my good intentions, shames us all.
I mean seriously, the next thing you'll be telling me is that they're gonna cancel one of my favorite shows and replace it with some sort of half-assed remake of something I liked as a kid.Not to mention the fact that this doodad I found to replace it is fugly as all hell in comparison.
How much would that suck?
But it's not a perfect theory.That human beings could cross the threshold to the point where we can isolate, understand, and split the very atoms that make up the world around us is nothing short of incredible.
Tuesday night I was feeling really restless. I was filled with this a sort of bubbling, positive energy that was begging to get out. Between being in a really good place with my writing, getting my car back from the shop, the sense of optimism that's surrounded the embracing my latest attempt at re-envisioning my life in a healthier light, and the sound of urging, breathy voices talking to me on the phone from far, far away making me feel as if they are still close enough to share headphones with -- there was this sort of tide swirling all around me, making the thought of simply staying in and doing nothing seem like a waste of kinetic potential.But that's not where that particular story ends, is it?
So I got in the car.Tuesday nights are largely a wasteland in this town. Places are closed, a people stay home -- you can find things to do, but the kinds of choices you're left with are kind of limited in comparison to later days of the week. Not that there aren't places to go or things to do -- but they all seem to come with asterisks. It's a night that I normally choose to stay in and save my money. But like I said, I was feeling pretty good and wanted more than just the television and the sound of passing cars for company.
But there are two sides to curiosity.I was pulling up to a red light at an intersection that I swear I've stopped at a million times before. The kind of driving where you're aware of what you're doing, but there's a certain amount of instinct and repetitive memory involved. Which is probably why I found myself looking around more at that point than say, when I was navigating traffic on the interstate or trying to make a turn from one street to another.
It was one of those moments where your focus is pulled away from everything outside and locks onto a single detail. Where this little voice in your head says things like, "What is that? Can you tell what that is?"Until I realized that it was moving towards me.
It was like time slowed down, like the connections between the visual information I was getting and the reasons that might explain why I was seeing such a thing fell into place, each with a crashing sound as the dots of circumstance connected within my mind while friction finally took hold and brought the sliding wreckage to a wobbling stop, bathed in thick, backlit smoke coming from the scraped metal underneath and the exhaust fumes rising through the still-spinning wheels.Which is exactly what happened when I realized that the light coming towards me was a motorcycle, sliding on its side across the median from the oncoming lane where it had been into the side of the road that I was on...without a rider.
Unless it's Hitchcock.I don't know exactly how that little fat man figured it out, but to this day the things that happen in his films (some of which are like 50 years old) creep me the fuck out. There's something about the way he presents things, the way he only reveals parts of the terrifying ideas that make them too open for a mind like mine to sit still and just accept it as part of a movie, or a story that I'm reading.
It's like the opposite of wonder. Engaging the obsessive part of your mind that wants the mystery solved but doesn't have enough evidence to make it happen. The part that can't help but think about that shower scene in Psycho where all you have to go on is an approaching shadow on the shower curtain that you can see because you're watching the film, but instantly know the girl taking the shower can't see because she's standing under the water thinking about something elseThe less you know about something, the more your mind focuses around the idea.
That's when it gets me. That's when I find myself standing in the bathtub, trying to wake up and get into my day only to see a certain pattern of water swirling into the drain that gives me a mental connection that sends me into an irrational kind of panic that has me suddenly peeking out from the shower curtain to make sure no one's there, and then paying waaaay to much attention to any signs of unexpected noise coming from outside the bathroom the entire time I’m in there.Just like you do every morning before you go to work.
I knew that motorcycle had a rider.But as the wreckage sat there smoldering on the ground, the fact that I couldn't see that person struck a very real, very dark chord inside my mind.
It's almost like instead of telling myself "It's only a movie, it's only a movie, it's only a movie"Maybe that's what made all of it bother me so much. Because part of me needed to know that next piece of information, but part of me was terrified of what it might look like. Not sure I could handle it.
I was quietly screaming inside "Please let this be a movie, please tell me this is only a movie"
I needed to know that he was ok, or that my worst fears were true. Either way, I needed to know that there was a glimmer of conclusion to the story in front of me.But it was like I had to know, you know?
As sirens came closer and the situation began to take form it became clear that there was really nothing I could do at this point but get in the way. I don't have any medical expertise; I hadn't really seen what happened, so I couldn't tell the police anything helpful..He was just there, lying on the ground.
The light was changing. Car horns behind me began to honk.I wish I could tell you more. I wish I knew the real ending to this story. I wish I didn’t need to tell it in some form to try to get it all out and try to understand why it’s bothered me so much and robbed me of any sort of restful sleep for the past two nights. I checked the news, but even that was sort of a bad idea.
I’ve always sorta wanted a motorcycle...I always thought that would be a cool thing to have.
- The C word
- Getting away with silent farts in mixed company
- The blatant disregard my roommates seem have for anything that belongs to me
- Talking dirty/Flirting with bill collectors and telemarketers
- When little kids cuss
- Flavor of Love 3 (You know I'm gonna watch -- but seriously bro, jokes over)
- Drunk dialing
- Moments when you realize who your own worst enemy actually is -- like when I opened up the microwave to warm up a healthy side dish of mixed vegetables to have as part of my dinner last night, only to discover a plate of leftover pizza inside there that I guess I had wanted to eat after coming home drunk Saturday night, but passed out before the buzzer went off and then totally forgot about until that moment.
It's almost like people's general half-assery and lack of follow through has sort of unofficially changed the meaning of the word "resolution" from being something you vow to do and actually try to accomplish into being more like something you wish could happen to you before the year ends without you really having to do anything about it yourself.I mean, I resolve to do things all the time.
But I look back on the whole thing, and I realize that one of the real problems was the way I visualized the goal.Because when you get right down to it, all I had to do to succeed at that challenge was run the race -- which I did, twice. I trained for both of them under the guise of getting into a healthier lifestyle and prioritizing a running/exercise regimen instead of being a complete couch potato -- but once I ran the River Run, the goal I set was accomplished.
Not that the goal wasn't valid, or that doing it meant nothing -- but that at the time I was too wrapped up in other things to realize that I was aiming at the wrong thing. The River Runs that I did should have been milestones that I used to measure the relative success of a lifestyle change that I was trying to make. If my goal had been something more effective -- I'd probably be in a better place with it by now.Which is probably why after successfully completing two of them, I stopped.
Instead what's happened is that I've had two or three times in the last decade where I've jumped on the losing weight/getting healthier bandwagon to the point where I've reached certain levels of success, and really loved the way it felt to be a little thinner and look a little better -- but it's never been something that I've been able to make stick.Didn't have enough perspective, I guess.
I have broad shoulders. I'm not as young as I used to be. I'm never really gonna be skinny or ripped (but fuck you just the same, Peyton Manning) -- but one of the mental concepts that I continually struggle with is this idea that my battle against being fat is already over -- and the fat won. That in some form or another I'm always gonna be this way, and all I can really do is buy "bigger shirts" and lie to myself with energy bars and yearly contracts to a gym.Which is being a fat guy who doesn't think there's anything he can do about it anymore.
Q: Why do I hate working out?Working out is nothing short of an assault on my body. The machines ask my joints to do things that they don't really like to do, for longer than they want to, usually in a room full of people who don't look like they need to be exercising at all.
A: Because I'm fat.
I never feel fatter than when I'm at the gym. It's supposed to be a motivating factor, and sometimes it is -- but it never lasts, because honestly it's really hard sometimes to get in your car and drive to a place where you pay for the priveledge to be ugly for an hour three times a week.And what's the reward for all this?Sore muscles, sweat-stained shirts, and seemingly nothing changing on the scale.
..But that's what I do.Besides, as much as I want to be in better shape and get these pounds off -- nothings ever gonna get fixed until I do something about my eating habits. That's what continually kills me. The way that my brain has become wired to release endorphins whenever I hear that someones brought donuts in to share at the morning meeting. The way that I view eating fresh vegetables as somehow equitable to having to sit in a room discussing Metaphysics with a panel of esteemed laureates that includes Dog The Bounty Hunter, K-Fed, and Rosie O'Donnell.
If I want to make this happen, it's gonna have to be a gradual thing. It's got to be a long-term goal dotted with events and milestones placed strategically along the way to help me understand that I'm doing it right. In other words, saying you're gonna lose 10 pounds sounds really cool -- but once you actually lose them it's far too easy to convince yourself that you climbed Everest and reached the summit, which is a victory in itself -- so lets go get a tub of ice cream and celebrate!!!I'm not a cold turkey guy. I wish I could be, but I'm not.
At the same time, I haven't really figured out the way that I'm going to be able to effect the changes in my overall lifestyle that I know can fix this problem in a way that's actually going to be more than just a three-month thing that I revisit every eight months or so. Not so much that I don't know the things I need to do to lose weight or get in shape, but I still haven't figured out a way to ingrain those habits into my everyday life in such a way that I don't hate doing them and wish I could just get skinny so I can finally eat the things I like again.Here's what it all boils down to: I'm bigger than I'd like to be -- and it affects my happiness.
A bunch of guys at work are doing a weight loss challenge. Basically we all threw in $20, weighed in on one of the companies freight scales (a nice touch) with the agreement that at the end of the month we’ll do it again, and the person at that time who’s had the highest percentage of weight loss over the next three weeks takes everything in the pot.Cold. Hard. Cash.
Might buy me like three more weeks, if I play it right ;)
Me: This war movie is pissing me off
j: what movie?
Me: The Thin Red Line
Me: when I tuned in it was all action and tension
Me: now it's just Sean Penn whining about the government
Me: it's a gorgeous movie, but Penn wont shut up
j: what channel?
Me: History channel
j: ok, I see it
Me: all these hotties are about to die
Me: Adrian Brody, Elias Koteas, the Water Horse dude..
j: cute owl
Me: he's a spy
Me: and Sean Penn wants him to vote for Obama
Me: there's this whole fascinating theme about nature going on in the film
j: i have to watch something else. i hate war movies
Me: there was this great plotline going on earlier where Nick Nolte's character was having
this battle of nerves with the other soldiers on the line -- and it was just awesome
Me: really intense, fantastic acting
Me: But now it's at that point where I'm supposed to feel bad about everything, and it's lame
Me: ..there goes blue eyes
Me: the dude with the bedroom eyes just bought it
Me: oh wait, it was Jesus
Me: I can never pick that guy out on sight
Me: James Caviezel (sp?)
j: oh yeah
j: that guy
Me: dude, they shot Jesus!
j: that's fucked up
Me: and Sean Penn's still there
Me: shoot HIM
j: ur mean
Me: there's this point when a movie loses it's connection to you (books too) and you can't
help but treat it like that point in Super Mario when you try to set Luigi on fire
Me: like the entire second half of Garden State I just wanted an anvil to fall on Zach Braff's head
Me: That reminds me, I was reading Piercing all morning
j: did u finish?
Me: I'll finish it today
j: u better
Me: I'm loving what he's setting up
j: that book is fucking crazy
Me: I'm right in the middle, where he's taking her in the cab maybe to the hospital
j: oh it's all downhill from there
Me: it's got a cool rhythm to it
j: it's disturbing
Me: it is
j: but funny
j: do u feel bad for laughing?
j: i did
Me: I don't feel bad about it, but I have laughed a bit
Me: I laugh at anime porn, I feel bad about that
j: anime porn is hot
Me: tentacle rape looks like a lot of work
Me: just buy her dinner!
In other words, if Mountain Dew was a guy -- he would yell a lot and always want to go snowboarding.Sure if there's a new Mc-whatever sandwich being introduced at Mickey D's they might need to get the word out or whatever, but by and large advertising for companies like this is more about making sure the brand remains relevant and vibrant in peoples minds, lest they start to pine for something new.
If The Gap was a woman, she'd have pretentious taste in music and a baby who dresses like a Republican.
Think about the endless string of annoying catchphrases that you first heard in a beer commercial. Think about all the parodies you see on YouTube and jokes based around advertisements for candy, hamburgers, or toys. Think about all the references that show up in hip hop lyrics that reflect popular products or twists on advertising jingles.Think about the songs that have been introduced to us in iPod ads that have become hits.
And sure, we could go on for hours about the dark side of that; the ways that media and advertising create images that no one can possibly live up to, and even in some instances attempt to shame you into thinking that their products can help hide or change your social shortcomings (Not for nothing, but is anyone else getting a little tired of the Visa Check Card ads that make anyone who can't pay for anything in one swipe of a plastic card look like a leper?).To me these things stretch far beyond decisions people make at the grocery
store or the mall -- creating a world where in many ways consumerism is culture.
But sometimes you have to look past all that.Look a little beyond the dangers inherent and see what something like that can do when they put their mind to damning the consequences and seeing what happens when advertisements start saying the kinds of things a company really wants to say.
For example, you've probably seen this ad for Levis 501 Jeans.
It came on the other night when I was watching Project Runway. The original ad with the girl was one they'd played to death during previous episodes of the show to the point where I didn't really pay much attention to it much anymore. But for whatever reason (probably because the chick in the phone booth is really hot), I always kinda look up when it got to the punch line -- only to find an ending that quite frankly fit a lot better and just made a hell of a lot more sense given the mood of the ad and the type of man they had playing the part of the "pants puller upper."But have you seen this one?
Which in my mind makes this ad about much more than just hawking jeans to skinny people.Of course, as cool as I think this commercial is, watching it here on YouTube a few times has made me realize that neither the straight or gay versions address what I feel is the real problem with this advertising campaign -- which is that if you go ahead and purchase a pair of jeans that possess the ability to pull phone booths filled with attractive people through the floor of your Manhattan apartment building without killing them --
I mean yeah, I'm all for a pair of jeans that can automatically understand my sexual orientation and then magnetize objects containing hotties that fit my particular preferences, but I'm so not sure I'm as convinced that they're a great bargain if once miss thang gets around to pushing said button-fly's down off my hips (which from where I'm sitting is sort of the whole point of buying expensive jeans in the first place) -- only to send her careening back through the floor?What happens when you pull your pants back down?
What about that, Levis?