You’re Probably Doing it Wrong, Screw-Up #432 and “March Madness” is Driving Me Apeshit

‘sdoing it wrong

“Isn’t that cuuuute? BUT IT’S WRONG!!!”

It’s good that I had the foresight to DVR some old 2 Stupid Dogs episodes.  It would have been better, if I could hear the cartoons and Top Gear episodes over the man-yelpings in the next room.  I know Jerry gambles on just about anything anyone is goofy enough to organize a pool on, and he really gets into that brackets noise.  He is also a big Ohio State fan, so I’ve been having to endure both the football season and basketball season.

I am so glad he has his own TV.

In a twisted way it’s almost nice that Jerry’s so occupied with basketball.  It gives him less time to complain about other things, and that’s almost a relief.  It does not,  however, keep him from his incessant whining over food.

If I fix something nice and homemade such as chicken-n-noodles:

chicken-n-noodles

I even make my own noodles- flour, eggs and a lot of rolling and cutting-

Then Cap’n Happy will decide he wants something salty and processed such as:

06-totinos-pizza-rolls

Admittedly, they’re tasty, but I’m sure there’s not much nutrition going on here.

The only reason why I have even a passing interest in eating for health is because I’ve pretty much been forced into it.  There was a time in my life when the “four food groups” consisted of caffeine, nicotine, sugar and grease, remembering always that alcohol is a sugar.  That worked for me for awhile- until my health crashed in my late 20’s-early 30’s- and I had to pay attention or else.  I really don’t care what other people eat, and I really have no desire to impose my dietary preferences / restrictions on anyone else, but generally it means I get to fix two meals- mine, and whatever junk food du jour that Jerry wants.

I still miss looking at a créme horn as a mid-morning snack and/or lunch substitute sometimes.  I remember days where my eating schedule would look like this:

6 AM: Black coffee, brewed to espresso strength, 32 oz tumbler to get started, another 32 oz to last the rest of the day.

11 AM: Créme horn scored from sales department’s leftover donuts, coffee, coffee, coffee

6 PM: Quarter Pounder with cheese, large fries, coffee

6:30-9:30 PM: Wine coolers and/or Bailey’s & coffee, or Kahlua and coffee

Of course, other days would look even more bizarre, like the two months somewhere in the mid-90s that I lived on nothing but Slim-Fast and coffee.  My abysmal nutritional habits in those days were supplemented by packs and packs of 120 menthol cigarettes.

gross ashtray

Nasty, I know.

So I am the last one on the planet who should be lecturing anyone on health and fitness, except maybe to serve as a warning.

I’ve always been the one to find the exception to prove the rule.  I’ve always found the movie Grumpy Old Men to be hilarious.  Burgess Meredith played the senior John Gustafson.  (See the classic bacon and beer tirade video.) His character reminds me of Jerry- cranky, fussy and of course, enamored of bacon and beer.  These are the guys who live to be 120, like the Russians who swill vodka and toke cigars their whole lives.

burgess meredith

I can’t help to think this will be Jerry in thirty years- drinking up my life insurance.

Maybe when I die and he gets all that cash (if he doesn’t blow it all on Natties and gambling) he might be able to afford real beer, like maybe Bud Lite.

Someone like me, well, I can watch everything I eat, work out 3-5 times a week, and will likely be taking the Dirt Nap by age 60 no matter what I do.   It must be my lovely type-A personality. I’d also speculate that my piss-poor draw in the genetic lottery didn’t help much either.

ohio_state basketball

I’m glad they’re winning, if for no other reason than it makes Jerry happy.  But why does a 1 hour game merit a week’s worth of commentary?

And why can’t they use the Oprah channel for all these damned games instead of TruTV? Or some other channel I don’t watch…like one of the 400 ESPNs?  I understand that there’s not much good on TV right now because all the jocks and wanna be jocks, and people who will bet on anything are watching basketball, but come on!  There is a niche out there called the Non Sports Fan.  It’s OK to pander to that niche, alright?

But just as I thought of my Non Sports Fan category of TV viewer, I thought of something non-sports that I loathe even more than 24-7 sports.  I absolutely can’t tolerate “Chick TV”: i.e. soap opera type fictional shows that do not involve either gratuitous sex or things catching on fire, anything involving non-talented schmucks trying to perform glorified karaoke, anything fictional and designed to make one cry, and worst of all, “improvement” type shows where some jackwagon from either coast tries to tell me how to dress and/or do interior design.

what-not-to-wear

Green shirt and green tie? That blecchy green?  And you’re going to tell me how to dress?

I have the 3 “c” rule: is it comfortable, cheap (as in inexpensive) and does it afford good coverage?

So what kind of programming is left for me?

Top Gear.  But only the BBC one.  The one with Jeremy Clarkson.

World’s Dumbest

-Anything on Investigation Discovery

-Most of the programming on The Military Channel, The History Channel and The Military History Channel.

-Some programming on Comedy Central, i.e. Tosh.0, and South Park

-Most of the programming on Boomerang and Cartoon Network except for Pokèmon and some of that other bizzaro anime stuff.

-Most of Adult Swim, except Family Guy.  I just can’t get into that show.

1000 Ways to Die

If I didn’t pay the big bucks for cable, I would really be going nuts by now.

More Fun With Obscure Old Things, Virtual Road Trip, and Winter Funk Comes Early

plates compareAt least I can keep my sunburst plate (the top one) and save $8 as opposed to getting the new plate which I think is rather busy for a license plate.

Usually I don’t get to the really despondent depths of the Winter Funk until the butt-end of February, when my birthday rolls around, bringing with it the ominous and expensive task of going to the BMV to pay for yet another registration sticker for yet another year..  This year that task is doubly odious because I have to renew my driver’s license as well as my car registration, so I can’t just do it online.  Joy and rapture.  A new pic of me- four years older, that is guaranteed to be bad enough that it should either appear in “Busted” magazine, or have “Correctional Institute Inmate” underneath it.   As far as “Busted” magazine, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine to gawk at the mug shots, laugh at the bizarre names (there is actually a guy in one of them whose name is “Sequin”)  and examine them to see if anyone I know is in there.   At least as far as I know I’m not going to get stuck with the fugly new license plate.  I don’t care for that design, and it really doesn’t go very well with my Hello Kitty license plate frames.

hellokitty2_600This goes better with the old sunburst plate anyway.

Anyway, I am trying to head off the despair and gloom at the pass.  I am making it a point to go to at least one Bible study class (at church, among other live humans) a week, which I’ve not been doing since last October and it shows.  I am not the best Christian example in the world by a long shot, but I have an even harder go of things when I neglect Bible study with other people.  Yes, I read and study on my own, but the only observations I see are my own and too much navel-gazing is not a good thing.  Even though I crave solitude like a junkie craves a fix, I still need to hear the opinions and observations of others- particularly from those with different viewpoints than mine- from time to time.

More importantly, I have to remember that there is life beyond the mundane, and I have been very neglectful of the spiritual as of late.

jesuswatchingI couldn’t be terribly interesting to watch.

Anyway, I have found some more fascinating ephemera from the early-to-mid 20th century that piqued my interest:

toilet baldToilet water cures baldness.  Who’d have thought?

Men generally are less vain than women.  Though comfortable, I can’t bring myself to wear Velcro tennis shoes in public.  However, some men have a rather twisted sense of vanity and of utility:

redneck-boatWhat they’re not telling you is the recliner on the boat is nicer than the one in the house.

I have also discovered that the redneck love of bacon is not a recent discovery.  Even in the late 19th century a national love affair with pork products was obvious.

porcineographThe United States of Pork!

To quote the French: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

At least back in the day – before Oklahoma was a state, obviously,  you got the cool little diagram with all the piggies on it to take home.

While I’m in the road tripping mood, it’s interesting to see how people other than Midwesterners look at the US.  I know foreigners probably view the great vast flatness of the Midwest with trepidation (we’re not dangerous, usually, just boring.)  There are flush toilets in the South now- even in West Virginia, although West Virginia is technically not part of the South.  The reason why West Virginia is West Virginia is that they decided to stay in the Union instead of becoming part of the Confederacy along with the rest of Virginia.   Southern Ohio isn’t part of the South either, but try telling them that.  Especially that guy in Greene County who has the barn with the huge rebel flag on the roof that’s glaringly visible from I-71 northbound.  Never mind that he’s 35 miles north of the Ohio River (and therefore the Mason-Dixon Line.)  I guess if the South rises again it might have to redefine its geographical boundaries.

redneckmap

A West Virginia view on what’s what and who’s who in the US. Or maybe a Nebraskan’s?

I still think it would be interesting to take an English speaking foreigner (and yes, I am thinking of Karl Pilkington and the Idiot Abroad series) into the depths of fly-over country.  Use Central Ohio as the epicenter, and the only rule for the itinerary being that the destination has to be within 500 miles of the I-70 I-71 split in the middle of Columbus.  I could have a lot of fun with that.  Visit the Midwest, New England and a good portion of the South that nobody ever bothers to see.  I mean, since when has anyone said much about tourism in Cincinnati (which actually is a very cool historical destination) or Detroit, which you can skip entirely, unless you’re into armed robbery and gang rape, with the exception of the Henry Ford Museum (which is technically in Dearborn) and even then, leave your valuables in Columbus.   The Ford Museum is worth the drive and even worth the risk to one’s person in getting there.  Otherwise I would pretty much give the entire state of Michigan a pass.

reagan limoThis is the Reagan Limo.  I took this pic the last time I was at the Ford Museum- back in 2007.

Of course I have not (yet) made it to what might well be the holy grail of museums- the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia.  I’ve never been to Philadelphia.  I can only hope it’s not as bad as Detroit.  I simply have to get a.) enough scratch to make the trip, and b.) I have to plan the logistics so that I can stay overnight somewhere because it’s a 12 hour drive each way.

Mutter_MuseumNothing says cool like old preserved medical anomalies.

I Love My Flaming Type-A Personality, Deepening Sarcasm, and Welfare Day

Ok, I’m not ripping on the genuinely needy.  As someone who knows all too well what it’s like to choose between food or scripts and/or worry about having essential services cut off, I feel for those who are just trying to get by.  Even so, I should know better than to go anywhere near a grocery store on the first three or four days of the month.  All I do is end up coming home with half of what I needed to get (should I be lucky enough to find that) and a huge screaming headache.

I know not everyone on public assistance is raping the system.  For those who are, I’m paying for you, and it pisses me off.  It pisses me off even more when you are jamming your grocery cart (full of things I can’t afford) up my ass all the way through Kroger’s- after you have picked the store clean of such necessities as the toilet paper that would have been on sale had it been there, the fat-free cottage cheese, the store-brand longhorn Colby cheese, the Pantene Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair (?) and the Absolutely Zero Monsters, which would also (had they been there) been on sale.  There used to be a day when being on public assistance was considered humiliating. It was a necessary evil for the genuinely needy, that kept one from destitution and starvation.  Public assistance is supposed to be a safety net for those who have no other choice.  Now it’s almost “trendy” to shove your governmentally dependent self-righteous way through the grocery store (right over the poor saps who are paying for your sorry ass) like a bloated feeder hog at slop time.  To this I say, WTF?

Perhaps it’s enjoyable to sit back and relax while other people work their asses off to pay for you.  I would be ashamed to behave in such a way, but maybe I’m the one who’s wrong.  Perhaps I’m the stupid one for not figuring out how to milk the system and pursue my Fanny Feline lifestyle, since I’m too old to breed and I just don’t like the idea of smoking and/or dealing crack. (In Fanny’s defense, she’s a cat, and she does what cats are supposed to do.)

The Fanny Feline Lifestyle- not bad, except I’m not into eating meat by-products and having to lick my own butt.

My one quandary in this: if you’re not working, why in the hell do you need the Absolutely Zero Monsters?  To stay awake whilst doing nothing?  If I didn’t have to stay awake at work, my need for caffeine would be virtually nil.  If I had nothing better to do, I could get myself on the feline sleep schedule really quickly.  I think Fanny sleeps 18 hours a day.  That would be awesome.  I wouldn’t mind being Fanny, except being a cat, she has to eat catfood (which smells nasty enough) and she has to lick her own butt.

I am just glad they weren’t out of bacon.  I don’t generally eat bacon, but I do have to buy it.  Occasionally I might like a few bacon crumbles (the bacon bits in the can are good enough) in potato soup, but that’s as far as it gets. Grease and salt are two things my body doesn’t need much of.   But for Jerry, bacon- full fat, greasy, lardy bacon- is essential to maintain his well-being.  Jerry will eat bacon when he will not eat anything else.  It’s bad enough that he didn’t get his longhorn Colby cheese.  I will buy the store brand for $4.79 for an 8 ounce roll when it’s available, (even though that’s outrageous) but I refuse to pay $6 for 1/2 lb. of cheese, which is what the name brand cheese costs.  Call me cheap, but it’s a different world for those of us out there who have to pay for food with real money.

No high faluting fromage for you, Jerry.  It is, shall we say, trés beaucoup.

I did, however score a sale on American cheese slices before all the First of the Month Zombies scarfed them up. Not the plastic imitation ones, real American cheese made with real cow’s milk.  So, eat your grilled cheese and like it. It might be all you get.

Maybe it shouldn’t piss me off.  Usually I don’t give a rat’s ass about what other people have versus what I have or don’t have.  I don’t care about designer clothes.  I don’t care if I have the latest and greatest cell phone.  In spite of being a motorhead, I drive a Toyota Yaris.  My last performance car was the 2000 Celica which I still regret trading in.  I’ve never been an extravagant person.  Maybe that’s what pisses me off- working my ass off so other people can have what I can’t afford, for free.  I’ve never really aspired to having extravagant things, perhaps with the exceptions that I’ve always wanted to have an indoor pool, and I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise.

I wouldn’t mind finding him in my pool.  If I were to have an indoor pool, I would need a pool boy.

Maybe I should start my own foundation to help me- a sort of Send a Cougar to Camp type concept- help the disadvantaged old bitty who’s tired of getting trampled in the grocery store.  People could feel sorry for me and donate $5, $10, $20 and more to my PayPal account until I get enough money to get that indoor pool and go on my cruise.  Only I’d have to say I was running for President or something outlandish like that.  It worked for John Edwards, didn’t it?  He got a free mistress and paid for his illegitimate child through the gratuities of others.  I think the only major problem with that is I’m too honest and straightforward to get away with it.  No one is going to throw money at a potential presidential candidate who would tell people how it is.  I am not a very good liar.

Yes, there are two Americas.  Either you are the poor sucker who gets mowed down by the feeder hogs in the store on Welfare day, or you are the feeder hog.