Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Battle of the Bulge

When I got married, I weighed 170 pounds, soaking wet. At 6' 4" tall, that's skinny by anyone's standards. Now, nearly 22 years and 70-odd pounds later, I've gotten big. Too big. The mirror knows it. The button on my pants knows it. My aching back and low energy level know it. And sadly, I know it, too. What once was a size 32 waist transformed into a size 34 ... then 36 ... and now 38. My daughter, the future doctor, tells me that tall people tend to accumulate their fat in one spot. Guess that explains the Buddha belly (no offense to Buddha). Forget beer gut (I hate beer), this baby's a junk food gut.

There's a chance we're going to Disneyland in late June, to celebrate Andy's 21st birthday and Kate's high school graduation. In the event we're able to pull it off (timing, finances, etc.), my goal is to fit comfortably back into my size 36 shorts. That means returning to the gym ... that place I used to go religiously, but over the past year have forgotten where it's at — as well as drinking more water and eating less pie/cookies/cupcakes/junk. You know the drill: Eat less, move more. Easier said than done, I'm afraid. But to win the Battle of the Bulge, I'm ready to fight. This week, I make friends with the water bottle and start eating better. Next week, after those damn Reese's Peanut Butter eggs are gone from the shelves, we find the gym. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Diamonds — and reruns — Are Forever.

Today is James Bond day on BBC America. Woke up to From Russia with Love, lunched over You Only Live Twice, enjoyed an afternoon of Diamonds Are Forever, and are now winding down with a little Thunderball. Me? I could watch James Bond 24/7. Bad guys, bombs, bikinis — what's not to love. For some strange reason, my wife doesn't get it. "That's the problem," she says, "too many gadgets and they always end up with everything blowing up. And who wears a bikini to climb a volcano?" Yeah, ain't it great! Sorry, I hear Shirley Bassey singing "Goldfinger," time to wrap this day up.

12 Items or Less

I have the gift. You know the one — the one that guides you, without exception, to the slowest line every time you're in the store. The line where the guy is paying in change. Then line where the lady has 75 coupons she's pulling out, one by one. The line where they have an exchange so complicated it takes three managers, an abacus and a set of tarot cards to figure out the refund. See that line that's not moving? I'm in it. 

Today was the perfect example. Went to Fred Meyer to buy milk, dish detergent, some lemonade for Kate and some Immodium (don't ask). Simple. Fast, too, considering I spend enough time in this store that I know exactly where everything is. Within three minutes, I was at the check-stand ... the self-service check-stand. Normally, it's a breeze. Six terminals, no waiting. But today, ah today, I had the gift.

That said, to you, the citizens of the world, please, PLEASE do not use the self-service check-stand if any of the following apply to you:

1.  Your idea of advanced technology is Pong
2.  You are unfamiliar with any of the many languages spoken 
     at Fred Meyer
3.  You have a major fear of pushing touch-screen buttons
4.  You don't know the difference between an apple, a carrot 
     and a bottle of ketchup
5.  You have 23 plastic bags full of bulk items ... and you forgot 
     to write the codes
6.  "Now where did I leave my wallet?"

Another simple rule of thumb is this: If you have enough items for a full-blown grocery cart, you're in the wrong line. And if I'm in the store, I can guarantee you that I'll be right there with you.

Welcome to the Funhouse

I'll admit it. I love a good story. My wife calls it nattering. Maybe that's why I'm a writer, so I can get what's in my head out for the world to share. Some say the glass is half full. Other say it's half empty. Me? My glass is around the corner, down the street and over the bridge — and who knows what's in it. Ready or not, here I come. Let the nattering begin!