Saturday, July 30, 2005

Warning: Diet and Exercise May be Hazardous to Your Health (3)

I sense no one else is going to speak; since I have the floor, let’s explore what may happen if you do everything right. Someone should have warned me years ago about the risks of healthy living.

Let's say you quit smoking, which makes you a nervous wreck of course. You used to have a nice hobby, smoking, which helped you to relax. (I stopped smoking over the 4th of July weekend of 1988; it was three days of headaches and dizzy spells. It was so hard to quit I’ve never been temped to take it up again.)

So you replace that habit with eating everything in the kitchen when you go home at night. You will soon be dragging around an extra twenty pounds if you work it right. Then you may the have related problem of high blood pressure, which is not helped by the gallon of coffee you drink daily, or those salty snacks you inhale straight from the bag.

In time—it only took me two years--you may lose the weight you gained, and then where will you be? If you are of a certain age, losing weight makes you look--brace yourself--older. Your skin is looser; all the better to highlight those lovely wrinkles your flab used to conceal.

I seriously considered putting on a tie again, after not wearing one for twenty-five years, to hide my ugly neck wrinkles. So losing weight isn't a panacea either, for you could find yourself looking like a geezer.

And what about exercise-- that supposed cure-all for every ailment including flab? Let’s say you ride a stationary bike for several years before learning it’s not the best thing for guys as it interferes with, shall we say, their waterworks?

Not that I’m speaking from personal experience of course, but I do think exercise bikes should have a warning label: "Guys do you value your waterworks? Think twice before jumping on this equipment”.

Had I known how much fun the “diet and exercise combo” was going to be I would have first gone out on a bender. Well, not out except to the kitchen to wolf down every salty thing I could have found. Next I would have topped that off with a gallon of ice cream eaten straight from the box while standing up over the kitchen sink.

Am I addicted to junk food? No, I can quit any time. Actually my wife has to hide all the snacks before we go to bed. She claims I get up and eat in my sleep. She also says I wake her up banging the kitchen cabinet doors at night in my search of the edible. Sometimes all I find are doggie treats—not bad, really, if you’re asleep, that is.

After a bender my wife will ask me the next morning: “Did you have a snack attack in the kitchen last night?” I’m always given away by the trail of cookies crumbs. Not a pretty picture, but it beats the heck out of one taken recently which highlighted my scrawny chicken-like, old neck.

Here’s the sorry truth: no one said healthy living was pretty.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What's happened since I last blogged? (2)

What’s happened since I last blogged? Do you really want to know? Is this going to be a serial blog? (The floor is now closed to questions.) For the answers, grab yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. Clothing optional. (You look fine in your tattered bathrobe.)

I’ve decided not to let this blog be a repeat of my diary that is, trust me, so dull I read it aloud to my wife so she can go to sleep. My family and friends deserve something more than a rehash of the week that was.

My brother Jack has encouraged me to get the blog news out to the rest of the family. Our niece Jeanne in turn asked about the Yahoo Writing With Humor website, as she wanted to check out the stuff I've posted there. All this has sparked a weeklong spate of blog related e-mail, which has been very pleasant.

(Why does spell-check question “blog” every time I type it; isn’t Word a Microsoft product? I think those people know what a blog is—can’t they change their stupid program?)

Let’s agree I won’t foist off disguised diary entries. It would really be better to post the few funny pieces I’ve submitted to my Yahoo Humor Writers Group. I’ve sent some of them to my family, usually just the ones that relate to the good old days as we like to talk about where we came from (Hidalgo, IL).

I would prefer to write something original—don’t I wish—each week and leave the diary/log/blog entries to someone else who leads a more interesting life. This may put too great a strain on your correspondent of course. By next week I may be reduced to sending links to news stories with “smart” remarks attached.

Hey, I actually like this idea; I may do that sometime particularly if The Greenup (IL) Press has a few good items. For those of you not acquainted with the Press it's a local weekly that has the lowdown on who stayed over night, who had Sunday dinner at Grandma’s, and a complete notation of doctor visits.

There’s no national or world news, thank you very much, just brief bulletins from the communities of Jack Oak and Liberty Hill covering what the columnists, their friends and family did the past week. I like to make “smart” remarks about some of the items. Not nice of me of course. It’s a pity the paper isn’t online. It’s probably my duty to share it with others.

One of my favorite examples occurred last year: “Mary, Jarod, and Christopher visited Saturday with Bill and Nancy T. Nancy gave Mary a permanent. Jarod spent the night.” At least Jarod didn’t have to get his hair done.

Yes, I may try that among other things. Until then, keep your powder dry and (in winter) coast across the bridges, as Dad used to say.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Does the world need another blog? (1)

Does the world need another blog? Of course not. I've been up since 3:00 AM (Central Daylight Time except there was no daylight). I often get in trouble while surfing; I always find it hard to sign up for anything. Every user name is apparently already in use. I've now forgotten what one I came up with.

The question is specifically: Do I need a blog? I'm a member of Yahoo's Writing with Humor Group--I've already committed a fair amount of embarrassing e-mail on that site which is open to the public. And just this morning (around 4:30) I signed up with another Yahoo group which is Andy Borowitz's fan club. I am a fan, but I had an ulterior motive I realize now. I just wanted to post a piece I had written about Borowitz and Harold Bloom.

I was surprised to see--shortly after 7:00--my 481 word essay had appeared at the site. The instructions said all posts had to be approved by the moderator which in this case is Borowitz himself. Didn't hear anything from him directly, but it was nice of him to allow the thing to be posted.

So now I am bracing myself to make an another entrance on The World Wide Web. This is the height of foolishness as I can't write enough to cover a postcard without an aggravated sinus/allergy headache. I've practically stopped posting to my Yahoo Humor Writers group as I laid a very large egg at that site on the twentieth of June. I've had a mild case of writer's block since--I say mild as I hardly qualify as a writer. (I joined the group 1-15-05; practically the only other writing I've done was for Chandra Clarke's online humor writing class I took last year.)

So I am a new writer, a beginner if you will. What's wrong with that you say? Nothing except the word "new" doesn't seem to fit someone who was born in the middle of the last century. I was born in 1945, the last year of World War II. I turned sixty on March 25. I am still up and working full time--not a drag on society just yet. What's shocking about being sixty is as I don't feel wise and mature as I always assumed I would. As a youngster, I was very immature for my age. Now that I am in my middle years--no doubt I'll live to be 120--I am still immature for my age. This is a disconcerting discovery. This can only mean that I will NEVER grow up. And on that happy note I must take a break. My sinus/allergy headache is calling for over the counter meds. And another cup of coffee, if you don't mind.