Monday, March 31, 2008

I Totally Cheated on My Wife

n response to former Governor Spitzer and sitting Governor Blindguy's recent admission of infidelity, I feel compelled to admit that I have totally cheated on my wife.

More, I have to admit, to expose that it was totally hot and sticky and I spent most of the time moaning and saying 'oh Go, oh God' and I'll probably do it again.

Since going on this damn diet, I have successfully dropped some serious tonnage. My pants are starting to hang off my back end by accident and not design. My old shirts are starting to actually fit me. Even my shoes feel different.

And for the most part, I haven't had the horrible cravings you would think I'd have by giving up dirty martinis and Manchego. I've been just fine. Until yesterday. Yesterday she arrived, waltzed in to our house steamy and hot, and said 'come on, baby, I'm all yours'.

And I caved. I did. I only had a little, just a piece, but it still counts. My poor Attorney was at work, slaving away, and there I was at home, my hands full of the voluptuous, delicious, totally hot Cheese Pizza.

I had a corner, a tragic baked-out postage-stamp-sized sliver with just a spoonful of hot melted cheese and a wad of Italian sausage slumped under it but it was delicious. Made Jenny Craig taste like wheat paste, I swear.

I just ... I had to say something. I wanted there to be full disclosure, just like Spitzer and Blindguy, because I am a man of honor.

Except when faced with cheese pizza.

Please save me: my children are trying to kill me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Jenny Craig, I think I Love You

ot many people know that I have been, most of my adult life, secretly obese. I hide it well with baggy clothes and by never leaving the house, but, truth be told, I'm fat as all get out.

By average standards, I have been, at my greatest rotundity, 100 pounds over the standard mark. Just because the standard is set according to the average size of fanatical fasting Fakirs in Darfur doesn't mean it isn't right. I'm supposed to be only one person and, according to the measure, I'm two.

My gorgeous attorney has also battled with thinnitism and decided recently to join Jenny Craig. As a measure of support, I vowed to stand by her, diet spackle bar to diet spackle bar, steamed zucchini to steamed zucchini, in her quest to reduce her size by one thin secretary.

So here we are, 7 weeks into the program and we're down 20 pounds each. 20 pounds. I never thought I'd freakin lose twenty pounds. You know how much twenty pounds is? Grab four bags of sugar. Wear them. For thirty years.

However, no one's noticed yet. My pants are hanging off my ass like I'm some kind of white rapper wanna be. I went bowling and nothing worked because I'm used to heaving twenty more pounds up to the line and I'm just . ... off. I look in the mirror and I look different to myself and I see me every day. I see my attorney every day and we LOOK DIFFERENT! WE'RE SKINNIER! AND NO ONE NOTICES IT!

I think it has to do with fear of fat. When my attorney complained that no one had noticed that she'd lost weight, I told her that until she's dramatically thinner, no one is going to say anything because they can't be sure they're right. If they say "Wow, you've lost weight!" and you say, "Uh, no," look at them for a minute then finish with "I'm still fat," well, it's an awkward moment.

It's the opposite of the irrevocable comment: "When's it due?" to which the robustly bellied recipient of this folly replies, with frigid malice, "I'm. Not. Pregnant."

If you are on the upside of ample, as Mrs. Death and I were, please accept my assurance that you can lose it. You really can. And it's easy.

I've been losing two pounds or more every week for eight weeks. I eat more than I used to, the food is good, and I haven't exercised. At all. I'm not advocating that by the way so all you nitpickerels can just stand down now. I hate exercising and I doubt I'll really do it until I have to. If I was exercising---I'd have lost probably 25 pounds by now.

Jenny Craig food is expensive and it doesn't always live up to the picture on the box. The pesto pizza is terrible. The cheese tortellini is torpid and wan. But the Fish and Chips is alright and the pot-stickers and cashew chicken dinners are pretty tasty.

The important thing we've found is to load up the fridge with diet Jello and really good vegetables. We eat a salad every lunch and a huge bowl of steamed veggies every night. I have yogurt and dry cereal for breakfast every morning with a fruit, a cup of coffee and a lot of water. I eat a snack two hours later: yogurt and a snack bar with fruit. I eat a JC lunch with a womping salad at lunch, take a vitamin, have a snack two hours later, cottage cheese, a fruit, and diet chips. Then dinner. Then desert. I'm eating more food than Oprah on a binge and I'm losing weight.

I know some of my readers are, as I have so delicately described, on the upside of ample. Maybe it's you. Maybe this sounds like preaching but I'm pretty excited about losing weight. It can be done. You can do it. If I can do it ... you can.

Please save me: my children are trying to kill me.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Steaming Zucchini--A Tale of Adventure!

our humble author may be many things, a passable radio talk show host, a halfway decent speller, a pathetic and disappointing dog trainer, but I am not considered to be particularly clumsy. I'm not saying I'm graceful by any measure, but I can walk and chew gum at the same time and when I was skinny, I had fairly rigorous yoga workout1. But I'm a guy and guys sometimes do stupid things and these stupid things sometimes cause them an undue amount of injury and pain. Granted, they usually deserve it, like when they peer into a gas tank to see if it's topped off--using a zippo. That's just idiotic and the dumbass that does it deserves a few days in a burn ward. However, at least he gets a good story out of it. Not like me.

In order to keep my guy license (which is on tenuous grounds already) I'm going to write the rest of this piece, my injury story, in true GUY form, adventure writing, Hemmingway style, because I don't know how else I can manage to admit that I gave myself whiplash. In my own kitchen.

Steaming Zucchini
A Tale of Adventure!
Lt. Dadd Masterson, Bush Pilot

"I laid my spatula on the ground. I wouldn't need it for what I was going to do. I wouldn't need it again ever. I turned with a heavy gaze toward the stove, that massive fiery furnace. Flames licked the bottom of my heavy braising pan like blue tongues. I squared my shoulders. Had it all come to this? To steaming zucchini? Ah, so is the will of God. I am but a man. I raised my trusty tongs, faced the steaming zucchini and ---"
As I lay now in my comfortable hospital bed, I read these words from my diary and wonder what I was thinking at the time. What capricious imp of the perverse conduced me to square off with a pot of steaming zucchini with just my tongs? It must have been the heat. The humidity in the Kitchen can reach unprecedented levels. Stamps won't stick to envelopes. Flies fall to the ground, unable to swim through the dank, jungly atmosphere of the Kitchen. I had been there so long, so much--sweltering over chili mac Hamburger Helper for the boy and bowl after bowl of Smak Ramen for my pre-veggie teen daughter, that I may have lost touch with reality. The strain and dreary automation of working in the Kitchen. Worse, as I created and unboxed wonderous creations for my keepers, I was left to make do on a meager ration of frozen Jenny Craig meals and steamed zucchini. I remember that day, as I mopped my brow and hitched up my pants, I realized I was a slave, I was losing weight, I was wasting away.
17 pounds lighter, I veered in the Kitchen's steamy heat and for a moment came to myself. Is this what it means to be a man? Is this the rigorous, adventurous life I'd set out to have? What's wrong with me!
There was a time when I drove a tricked out fire-engine red 66 Impala. I parked it long ways at Daytona beach and kicked back with my woman in the sun as visiting tourista fathers slowed down to drink in the car, the coolness of it far outstripping their pathetic rented sedans. I remember the look in their eyes as they feasted on the deep shine of Carnuba wax and made that delicious connection between the arc of the fender well and my indifferent, curvaceous girlfriend. I remember dipping my head to peer into their over-air conditioned station wagons as they looked past their wives who were reading Anne Rice and ignoring the screaming sunburnt houligans in the back seat. I remember locking eyes and nodding nearly imperceptibly, knowing it communicated so clearly to them: that's right, buddy, take it all in, awesome car, awesome girl, kicking back on the beach with a couple of brewskies and living the life. There but for the ravages of time go thou.
So many years later, an indentured servant, laying in my recovery. I remember clearly now, the shame I felt, standing there, red spatula in hand (it's good on the non-stick pans), staring at my reflection in the glass-like obsidian finish of the oven--who was this gaunt spectre, this rickety servant? Why was I debasing myself for these miscreant natives who had me under their control, ordering me from the comfort of their comfy couches, lying like insouciant Romans before their 52 inch plasma TV, gorging themselves on my efforts and loudly insulting contestants on American Idol. As I'm thinking these thoughts, one of their reedy voices cuts through the fog like a lash: "Dad, get me a coke."
Resolve burned in my veins. The audacity, the criminal nerve, to keep a man down like this, to enslave him to their indolence. I glared at the gaunt reflection. The heat on the oven door flashed a moment of clarity as the steam evaporated--just for a moment--and the gaunt creature reflected before me resolved into a proper reflection. I spoke to it, perhaps crazed with exhaustion and anger: "Remember the Impala."
A coke. It wants a coke. Well, I'd love to get it a coke but it made me steam zucchini first and it will have to wait. But I know, I know. I've been enslaved for so long, my life of adventure cut short nearly as it began, the Impala lost to time, and I am become that minivan dad, staring out the Kitchen window as some freeman on a Harley charges past, oblivious to demanding teen Overlords. There but for the ravages of . . .
So I laid down my spatula. I faced the hellish steaming pot of Zucchini. If this is my lot, this is then, my lot. I shall embrace it with the courage God gave me. I am a man of the realm, after all. I am a man of courage. I squared my shoulders and raised my tongs. I closed them slightly.

Pain shot through my body. These tongs, cheap replacements for my favorite pair, lost to damage, had bitten into the flesh of my hand between my thumb and forefinger, a pain, perhaps not that different from having your arm bitten off by a wild Tiger--but my reaction, odd and poorly timed, I am shamed to say--was to simultaneously scream, extend my neck, and hunch my shoulders. The muscles in my neck, already weakened by the sad diet of wilted vegetables and that damnable Jenny Craig paste could not relax in pace with my hyper extended head. I actually felt them tear--the same trembling vibration you might feel when tearing towels into rags.

Mortally wounded (it seemed), I stumbled into my keepers' den of luxury and begged them to pause their televised entertainment spectacle and give me relief, massage my neck, for the love of all things holy!

"You look ok to me, Dad."
"Yeah, what are you talking about? Would somebody PLEASE unpause the tv?"

Eventually the oler one, the eldest of my captors, reluctantly, and with dramatic sighing, heaved her reptilian hulk off the couch and slouched toward me. Even in my great pain, the horror of her indifferent approach made me recoil. She laid a single claw against my neck and wiggled it as if attempting to dislodge petrified mucus from her nostril. She continued to stare fixedly at the great televisor, all but ignoring me, causing more damage than relief. I discharged her and sunk into my small chair, which I am forced to share with the dog--whose sexual proclivities cause me no dearth of discomfit--and tried to imagine a better place where self-inflicted whiplash-cum-tong chomping is unknown, where shiny red Impalas lounge insouciantly in the surf and I am, as I once was, a man, indolent and proud.

You don't think Yoga is rigorous? Read "Real Men Do Yoga" and try their beginner set. Call me from the ER.

Please save me: my children are trying to kill me.