An Epic Epidemic

There is an epidemic that is sweeping the nation, possibly the world. It’s an affliction that is spreading like wildfire throughout the populous affecting us at every age, from the very young to the moderately middle aged.

It came on quietly. At first no one really knew about it, and then slowly but surely it became more and more prevalent.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your humble blogger has been affected by this affliction. I thought I was safe. I thought I’d be immune, but alas, it has proven not to be so. Yes, there’s been a twinge in the back here, a stab in the knees there, while visiting with others who’ve been afflicted, but till now I have not fallen fully prey. This is no longer the case.

Yes folks, it is true. I am officially one of the masses who have become afflicted with the dreaded Wii Arm! But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. I am also suffering from Wii Shoulder and Wii Wrist. And Wii neck. And Wii back. And Wii thighs. In fact most of my Wii body has been affected by the Wii affliction.

But on a happier note, since setting up my new Wii this weekend, I beat those smug Mii sons-of-bitches Matt and Miyu a couple times at Wii Tennis, and my Wii Bowling game is getting pretty good, though I was pretty worn out at the end and my score began to trail off. I’m a pretty terrible Wii Boxer and I hit mostly foul balls at Wii Baseball… When I hit the ball, at all… As for Wii Golf, well, I’d say, considering my only previous experience with Golf was at my local Putt Putt, I’m doing quite well.

I’m surprised and impressed by how much playing Wii Sports gets your system going and works up a sweat, so I’d say it was a good investment. Now if I can just get the cat to recognize that if he doesn’t stay out of the way while I’m Wii Bowling, he just might be taking a Wii trip down the Wii lanes along with my virtual Wii Bowling Ball.

An Important Note to Self

A few weeks ago, I walked into my local, preferred grocery store and bought a handful of groceries to make salads for lunch.

The next day as I was eating the salad I had made I looked at the bottle of dressing I was using and lo and behold the expiration date on the bottle was a month earlier. Thanks Lucky’s!

I returned the bottle that saturday when I did my grocery shopping for the week and as I was halfway through the store, it occurred to me that I should probably check the dates on my packages to be sure that everything was fresh.  Things were looking good until I got to the package of pre-cooked chicken I had put in the cart and saw that it was dated for Feruary 14, 2009.  It was mid March.

This past Wednesday I went to the same store for a few items and included in that puchase was a package of sliced almonds.  I got home, made the salad they were going to go on and tasted a handful of them only to find that they don’t taste terribly fresh.  I looked at the package and noticed that the expiration date on it was “09 FEB 11”.  ‘Dammit’ I thought, ‘what is up with this store!!!’

I took the almonds back to the store for a refund.  I wasn’t hateful to the clerk but I was clearly annoyed.  I told her, “This is the third time in a month I’ve found something here that was expired. When I went through to do my shopping and I looked at the dates on the almonds, only to find that they all were labled with an expiration date of “09 FEB 11”.

Note to self:  Next time you’re ready to yell at the grocery store clerk, remember that “09 FEB 11” actually means the nuts expire on February 9, 2011 and not February 11, 2009 as originally thought….Douche!

Conspiracy Theorists Unite!

dancing-with-the-starsI have been a fan of Dancing with the Stars since the beginning and as far as I am concerned it just gets better each season.  More stars, more extremes, less training time and more injuries, all make the show more and more compelling to watch!

The elimination of two of the show’s stars before the curtain even went up was certain to make for an eventful season premiere.  This season the stars only had four weeks of rehearsal time, which seems little enough time already, but then when disaster struck for two of the contestants and producers announced that they would recast those two couples, it seemed sure that the replacements would be among the first to go.  nancy-odellWhen the show began and the thick plotened, it was announced that Nancy O’Dell had dropped out of the competition on Friday, giving her replacement only 48 hours to prepare for the premiere episode on Monday night.

jewel1Poet and singer Jewel, it was announced, had fractured tibias in both legs and was unable to continue in the competition.  Producers replaced her with former “Girl Next Door” Holly Madison (not to be confused with Dolly Madison, something the “star” is clearly not particularly familiar with).  Holly MadisonHolly’s bio on the DWTS web page states her profession to be “Reality Star”. (Hmmm…  Reality… star… By definition that doesn’t seem possible, but I digress.)

My hopes were not high for this former Hugh Hefner honey, but I was pleasantly surprised to see her do a passable job on the dance floor.  After scoring a mere 18 points things look less than certain for this insane brave young woman, but given that she’d had only one week to learn the dance there’s a chance that she’ll improve in the ranks and make a decent showing.

The real surprise came when it was announced that Nancy O’Dell had a torn Meniscus, a piece of cartilage in the knee intended to evenly distribute your body weight in your knee, which left unrepaired could result in arthritis in the knee.  O’Dell dropped out of the competition on Friday and was immediately replaced by recently jilted Bachelor “star”, Melissa Rycroft, who is beginning to come across as a little bit of a media whore.  With only two day to learn and “perfect” her routine it seemed unlikely that Rycroft could possibly make a good showing so it was quite a surprise when she tied for second place with Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson (who, by the way, slipped just walking down the stairs in the shows opening).

Actually, Melissa Rycroft’s performance was quite impressive and she absolutely deserved the 23 points she got.  Head Judge Len Goodman, however, outed Rycroft as being a trained dancer, pointing out that she clearly had some dance training and he believed it to be ballet.  (Correct you are, sir!  Plus when not plastering her face all over your reality TV shows, she works as a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader.)

Can you say “Ringer!”?  It has got me thinking…

Now, I should probably be wearing a tinfoil hat, as I’m turning into a bit of a conspiracy theorist, but here’s what I think is going on here.  Ms. Rycroft wants to be famous (and really, who can blame her.)  This is why she studied ballet to begin with.  This is why she became a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader.  This is why she auditioned to go on The Bachelor.  And things were looking really good for a while there.  I never have, and never will, watch an episode of the Bachelor so I can’t speak to how things went for Rycroft while she was there, but I know that she made it to the end and received the marriage proposal.  I also know that in the “after the final rose” special that immediately followed The Bachelor Season Finale, this past Monday, she was unceremoniously, and from what I’ve read (thanks bloggers) rather cruelly dumped.  What a bitter end to an otherwise decent run.  What to do?  What to do!?

And then it became abundantly clear!  Dancing with the Stars was just about to start and she had a background in dance!  She may not win the entire competition but at least she can make a nice showing for herself.  But, damn!  The show has already been cast.  No problem!  Tonya Harding has nothing going on and she needs to eat… A lot!  Seriously, have you sent his?

tonya-harding1

So she hired Tonya Harding who conspired to attack Nancy O’Dell and injure her knee, put her out of the competition and then Melissa can step in at the 11th hour and save the day.  A brilliant plan!

On the other hand, I suppose it’s possible that Nancy suffered her injury legitimately and Melissa was the first person they could get to take on the challenge with such short notice and she only did it because she already has some dance experience and won’t look a total fool.  I suppose it could be that.  Maybe.

The Unequivocal, Completely Logical, Perfect Sense Making Truth Of Day Light Savings Time (I Think)

I have always been a fan of Daylight Savings time.  Seriously.   I like the variety.  The change in the routine.  Every so often it gives me something new to shake things up and that’s a good thing.  I never really understood why people complained about the change and acted like it was a big deal.

I was young and naïve.

This weekend, things were a little busy for me.  My honey do list was long (and by honey do I mean, “honey, do.”)  (And by “honey” I mean me. I’m single and live alone. Who else would I mean?)   So I was a good little boy and I got up early to get started.   I stopped by Unsvelt Girl Who Run’s Drive-way Sale  (this is like a yard sale, only it was held in the drive-way instead)  (just in case that needed further explanation)  (which I’m sure it didn’t)  (but wouldn’t want to take any chances.)   Then I met with Green M&M for Lunch and then did about six hours worth of shopping.   E-gads did I shop, and I didn’t get it all in.  Groceries had to wait till Sunday.

I went home, put everything away, cooked and ate dinner watched a little TV and went to bed early (and by early I mean, it was still Saturday and not into Sunday yet.)  (No really, I went to bed early.  In fact it was even before 11:00 when I went to bed.)  I went to bed early because I knew it was the start of Daylight Savings Time and I knew the time was going to spring forward (Can we really still say that when it’s no longer spring? I mean congress went and screwed with Daylight Savings Time and now it’s still officially winter according to the calendar and we’re moving the clock forward?   So what, now it’s “winter forward, fall back”?)

I woke up on Sunday morning when my alarm went off at 8:30… Of course that was really 9:30 because I hadn’t changed the time on the clock yet. (Sidebar: I have three atomic clocks in my house and the only one that is not currently an hour slow is the one on my night stand and that’s because I manually changed it before I went to bed last night.)  After showering and dressing I headed out to the grocery store where I was pleasantly surprised to see that I got all my shopping done in less than an hour and I got great produce (I guess there’s something to be said for grocery shopping at 11:00 on Sunday Morning and not 8:00 on Saturday night.  Yes that’s right, folks!  I have a booming social life!)  I was home by 12:30 and putting away groceries.  My refrigerator is slightly larger than a thigh high hooker boot box so this was a significant undertaking.  I ended up rearranging the majority of the fridge in the process.  I finished the groceries, whipped up a batch of banana bread (if you can call hand mixing a stick of butter and a cup of sugar “whipping up” a recipe), made a nice spinach and steamed shrimp salad, and cleaned the house.

Since the DVR was clear of my weakly must-sees (shocking, I know!) I read for a little while before cooking dinner and then watched Iron Chef America while I ate. Now, this post is not really about my activities in the last 52 hours (much to your relief I’m sure), the real point is that by the time Desperate Housewives was half over last night, I was fighting to keep my eye’s open.  No fewer than three times I had to hit the rewind button on the remote because I had missed something that happened or what someone said.  So the minute Desperate Housewives went off, I threw in the towel, knowing I’d never make it through Brother’s & Sisters.

I went into the restroom to take care of the usual before bed business including brushing my teeth and reinserting my invisalign.. aligners, and headed for the bedroom.  And as luck would have it, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, wide awake, and thinking to myself, “Tomorrow morning is going to suck!”  And that’s when it occurred to me, Daylight Savings Time is a cruel trick of nature or Congress or Benjamin Franklin or the Easter Bunny or whoever!  Why, in the name of all that is holy does the time change for Daylight Savings Time occur at 2:00 AM on Sunday morning? This is just cruel, particularly in March when the clock winters forward and we lose an hour.

Think about it.  It’s Sunday morning and your alarm clock is going off at 9:00, only your body thinks its 8:00 and doesn’t want to get up yet.  You force yourself to get up but your body is displeased and rebels for the first hour or so until finally it kicks into gear and goes with the flow.  You go through your day and all is well until evening when your body is ready to call it quits from not getting enough sleep but it’s only 9:00 and you don’t want to go to bed too early because you know if you go to bed too early you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and then you won’t be able to get back to sleep until its almost time to get up and then you won’t want to get up.

You do get up, because you have to be a responsible adult but your Monday is ruined because you didn’t get enough sleep and so you kill an hour or so at your office writing a semi-nonsensical blog post about the time change being bad and the whole thing could’ve been avoided if the time change just hadn’t happened.

Here’s what I propose.  Daylight Savings time should begin and end at 2:00 AM on Saturday morning giving us the entire week-end to adjust, and not just one day. Then Monday will be just fine and everyone’s blog posts will make sense and all will be right with the world.

Conveniently though, today is National Take a Nap Day and I think I’ll do just that!  The end!

Being of Sound Mind and Body

forever-stampsOn a recent trip to Costco, while standing at the check-stand, I saw a small sign stating that they sell stamps and recalled that I needed a book of stamps.

Now if you’re anything like me you’re wondering what I needed with A book of stamps.  I mean doesn’t everyone pay their bills on-line and use e-mail instead of snail mail to communicate with friends?  Well the answer is simple.  I mail my rent check to my Landlady.  I need exactly one stamp exactly once a month so a book of stamps lasts me a long time.

“Oh you know what, I need some stamps,” I said to the pimply faced young man running the cash register.  The cashier added the stamps to my tab and sent me on my way.  It wasn’t until I got home that I went to take the stamps out of the cellophane package he had handed me to put them in my wallet.  There I stood, in my bedroom, in front of my dresser, on top of which resides all items that go into my pockets when I leave the house.  I tore the cellophane wrapper open and pulled on that sheet of stamps and that’s when it hit me.  This sheet of stamps feels rather thick. I pulled the sheet out of the packaging and slid my fingers in opposite directions like you do when you’re separating two sheets of paper and sure enough, I didn’t get some stamps!  I didn’t get one sheet of stamps!  I got five!  Five Sheets of stamps.  A veritable shit load of stamps!  I didn’t get just 20 stamps, oh no, I got 100 stamps!

“Shit!” I said to myself.  “I didn’t want all these stamps!  What was I thinking buying stamps at Costco! I can’t believe I didn’t realize I was buying so damn many stamps!”  And then I started to think.  At least they’re forever stamps, and with 100 stamps I’ll have stamps till I die! I’ll have to leave them to someone in my will:

“To my brother I leave my 37” LCD TV, to my Sister I leave my cedar chest and to my Nieces, I leave my Tickle Me Elmo and the remainder of my collection of Forever Stamps.

Hell, they’ll probably have to leave some of them to their own kids!

My anguish and dismay were quickly abated a week later when I learned that the Postal Service would again be raising the price of stamps from $.42 to $.44.  Suckers!  I’ve got 98 stamps I only paid $.42 a piece for.  Keep raising the price!  I don’t care!  I have my lifetime supply of forever stamps!

Move It or Put A House Number On It!

Driving to work this morning, running late (as usual) and I get stuck behind this:  red-mustang being driven by him:  old-man.  I’m driving to work.  So I’m fairly certain it’s not Sunday, but don’t tell that to Gramps there ’cause he and the missus were our for that kinda drive.

For a moment, (I had plenty of them to choose from driving behind this guy) I imagined the day he bought this car.

He hobbles up to the vehicle on the lot, a look of loving desire in his eyes, and maybe just a hint of a tent, in his pants and reaches out his lone free, gnarled hand (the one not steadying him by holding on to the cane for dear life) to touch this thing of beauty.

A salesman walks up.  We’re not sure if the look on his face is lasciviousness savoring the moment he’s going to take the old man for 15% more than the asking price; or if it’s resentment, angry at this old coot for taking up his time when surely he’ wasn’t going to buy such a beautiful specimen of a sports car.  “She’s a beaut, isn’t she?!” the salesman says, “Would you like to take her for a test drive?”

The old man just shakes his head and smiles.  “No thanks son.  I’ve already made up my mind.  I’ve been waiting 50 years to own me a mustang, and now I can afford it.  This is the one I want, right here.  I’ll take ‘er.”

The salesman is a little surprised now but happy to oblige.  “Well yes sir, Why don’t we step inside and get the paperwork started.  While you’re doing that, I’ll take your new car and get it detailed and fill up the tank and then you’ll be on your way!”

That salesman did the little old man and me and the world a disservice because let’s face it!  If you’re too timid to even drive THE SPEED LIMIT, then you have no business driving a sports car!

Germy Germison

Green M&M is a borderline neurotic germaphobe. She carries Ass Gaskets (toilet seat liners) in her purse. Despite this, in public bathrooms, she still hovers to pee, uses her foot to flush, dispenses the paper towel before she washes her hands and uses the paper towel to turn off the faucets and open the bathroom doors. When her now nearly (GASP!) 16 year old nephew was a little boy, she passed this crazy on to him (possibly not the hovering part).

It goes without saying that I give her a never ending rash of shit over this obsessive compulsive behavior. She responds that people are gross (granted) and that it’s unhealthy not to do these things. I remind her that if these things were true we wouldn’t be here now. I’m pretty sure cavemen didn’t have Ass Gaskets. The prairie dwelling farmers of the 18th century had no running water or disinfecting hand soap. Hell, Purell hand sanitizer, in which she should own stock, didn’t even exist until the last decade or so.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree it’s important to take precautions and I never, EVER, leave the bathroom without at least running some water over my hands (to quote Boston Legal’s Allen Shore, “I keep a very clean penis.”) but I do think it’s possible to go overboard and she has certainly done that.

Today, while sitting in the stall in the office mensroom I was reminded of all this when, while taking care of my own business, I listened as no fewer than three “Gentlemen” came into the bathroom, took care of their business, and left again with nary a drop of water spilled in the basin. This is particularly disturbing to me because I work for a health care organization (don’t worry, no medical personnel here). However, it got me thinking, if germs were so rampant, there’d be no hope for us in my office because clearly there are germs being spread like crazy.

I thought about this… I thought about it a lot… I thought about it while I was washing my hands (three times)… And while I was using the automatic feature to dispense a paper towel… And while I used the paper towel to open the door when I left.