Archive | January, 2013

The Cheese That Makes The Man – Part 1

7 Jan

For as long as I can remember I have had a ritual on first dates that helps me figure out if a guy is right for me or not. I ask what his favorite cheese is. My truth is, out of zillions of cheeses worldwide, there is only one wrong answer they can give me — American cheese.

Let me just say right away that I like american cheese a fair amount (it is still cheese after all) so I don’t want to answer to rioters outside my loft screaming about the injustice I’ve done this processed dairy miracle. However, if it is your favorite cheese there is no deep long lasting love connection in our future. This dating tactic has never failed me; men who long for cheese of the perfectly square kind and choose it over all others are all the same.

I can maybe let it slide if you think Swiss won’t compliment your sandwich, but anything has to have more depth than American. I don’t understand; when Provolone is an option, why not take it?! These guys are the picky eaters and the ones who order the same Chicken Parmesan at every Italian restaurant and General Gau’s Chicken at every Asian place. They scoff at the idea of trying any new food that “looks weird”, “smells funny” or “is green” no matter how many people tell them it’s worth a bite. If you ever do get this guy to try something new after he swears he won’t like it, he will say it’s disgusting no matter what, just to be right. There is an element of control here that ladies would be wise to avoid.

Ever wonder why you never see American cheese as a part of an entree salad at restaurants? It is because people who like that stuff don’t eat salad.

The man who likes his cheese patriotic and processed is the same guy whose mother made him grilled cheese sandwiches with no crust on command and now you are going to have to fill her apron. I say all this because if someone is claiming that their favorite cheese is something that uninteresting, I have to believe they haven’t explored their other options fully. I assume they have no natural interest in the world around them because they were coddled and sheltered as a boy. I wouldn’t be surprised if these were some of the same culprits of underwear deliveries from their mom… that alone is a rant for another day.

In the wild, this color means "Do not eat! Poison!"

In the wild, this color means “Do not eat! Poison!”

After doing a little research I discovered that I’m breaking laws in this post because here I have been calling it “cheese” (I couldn’t make this up if I tried). It is illegal in the US to call it that because it is not. It has to be referred to as:

  • Processed cheese
  • Cheese product
  • Cheese food (my personal favorite)
  • American Slices/Singles (leaving the word cheese out altogether)

There was govenrment time and money spent talking about referring to it as “cheese” because of how it is made and what is in it. If this concept doesn’t concern the consumer I have to question all their life choices.

What about cheddar? That’s another simple and unimaginative answer but I can respect it because at least it isn’t defined by it’s color. “Would you like the White American, Yellow or Orange?” The difference is food coloring, so why there are options at all is beyond me.

When I tell a guy that he picked the one wrong answer he always tries to defend his choice (but let’s be real here, if he picked American he isn’t the sharpest debater either). Usually the main point in his case is, “But it’s so delicious!”. Touché dude, you have me there. How can I argue with such powerful and insightful logic?

The only argument I will hear on behalf of our nation’s namesake cheese is if one is referring to the rare but delicious unprocessed American. It is a mixture of Colby and Cheddar and the tales I have heard of it in my journeys tell me that it is quite tasty. If this is the cheese you speak of, and it is your favorite, you are off the hook. Otherwise, that second date we planned for next Saturday? Yeah, I forgot, I have a show that night…

(If you want to know what your favorite cheese says about you, read my next post, where I will attempt to tackle other cheese personality types)

Don’t Ask Dumb Questions

6 Jan

So a few years ago I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and underwent treatment. I can assure you that process is filled with comedic gold, but it’s not what I’m here to talk about tonight. I simply want to vent a tiny bit about the form I now have to fill out when I get my CAT scans every few months to make sure I’m still in remission.

On the form they ask when the problem developed and I very simply put the date. Next they ask how it developed… if I could answer that I wouldn’t need the check up scans because I’d be sure to not do it anymore. Also, if I knew how it developed, I would know the cure for cancer and I sure as hell wouldn’t be spending my time hanging out at 8am at their medical center. I’d buy my own CAT scan machine and put it in my super awesome, cancer funded mansion.

Since this question baffles and annoys me, I have always put my hypotheses on the form…

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From my June 2012 scan

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From my most recent scan

Other answers not documented in photos have included:

  • Ramen noodle addiction?
  • Bad juju?
  • It didn’t really, my doctors were just extra committed to April fools that year?
  • Voldemort?

I always include the question mark at the end to express confusion and whimsy. One of the women checking me in told me on my recent visit that the lab techs might not appreciate me fooling around with their paperwork. Who’s fooling?! You ask, I’m going to give you my best guess.

Aside

What I Did For Love: A Tale Of One Kitty

5 Jan

My cat Pooter is on Prozac for severe anxiety…

I could list a whole bunch of reasons why this isn’t my fault and some of them might even sound valid, but it’s like misbehaving children; it’s always the parents fault. Pooter is a fiercely independent cat and I don’t say that lightly because he spends most of his free time in a cave plotting out ways into the hallway, under the bed foot swiping techniques and total world domination. Laugh all you want at that last one, if you’ve met Pooter you wouldn’t be taking that quite so lightly, he has the intelligence, the technology and the drive to pull this off. Overall though he is lovable to me in spite of his lack of warmth, because I find his wit, motivation and behavior utterly charming and entertaining.

It is possible that this affection I feel for him is part of the problem. I have over coddled, smothered and spoiled this feline for years now and he asserts that I am his bitch on the regular. For a while he was peeing on my bed daily. I will repeat myself here… he pissed on my bed everyday. In hindsight I see that this plan to keep me caught up at the washing machine provided him with a lot of extra time for reconnoissance missions around the apartment. I think this was the period of time when his lab work  really started paying off.

A rare shot of Pooter in his lab

A rare shot of Pooter discovered in his lab

I did endless research on how to fix this problem and most of the literature said that I had to keep my cool when I discovered the “accident”. It told me to reassure him that I wasn’t mad and that I understood he was stressed so as not to further upset him…

Oh really?!?! No, it’s fine Pooter honestly I was hoping that my expensive down comforter and new sheets would smell like the elephant room at the zoo; it’s my favorite scent. There were countless occasions where I would catch him in the act and he would look me dead in the eye while he finished. My ex and I would say, teeth gritted and resisting the urge to fling him from the window, “Uh oh, did Pooter have an accident? It’s okay Pooter. Are you stressed?” We had an actual conversation with this beast as though our kind and understanding words would resonate with him in such a way that he felt calmer.

That cat doesn’t know the meaning of stressed. None of you reading this know the true meaning either unless you’ve come home after a long day feeling exhausted and you climb into a bed and roll over into pee. I know many of my readers have hardships and issues that span from minor to severe and I don’t want to hastily discredit that you think it could not get worse. I promise you this is not my way of downplaying your life problems; I simply ask that you take whatever you are dealing with and add urine to the equation, then tell me if I’m right. I can say from experience that it takes approximately four hours to wash and dry a comforter, a full set of sheets and a bed pad in a standard size washer. This is knowledge I could have lived without. Also, another handy tip — only the super expensive Nature’s Miracle urine destroyer gets that smell out and you have to really douse the fabric in it. Turns out though, that much like Pavlov’s research shows, the smell of that cleaner is now so associated with pee that, to me, it smells like it (side note: I actually had reason to use a thesaurus for “pee/urine” and there are slim pickings so bear with me as I say pee twenty or thirty more times).

For several months I slept on my sofa and although I’m ashamed of it, I’ll tell you why. After trying everything, Pooter was still peeing on my bed constantly so my new tactic was to use his own weapon against him. He is a very clean creature and I knew that if I left my bed covered in plastic and let the pee sit, he wouldn’t be able to go there anymore.

I’m an idiot.

He peed on piles of clean laundry, the dog bed, spare blankets on the linen shelves, inside my suitcase and on my couch. The living room furniture was the last straw and I will admit here, for all the world to read, that I had a full blown nervous breakdown. Weeks and weeks of my therapy sessions were devoted to discussing my cat and his excrement (thank you thesaurus, I almost missed that one). I cried, wept, sobbed every return trip home when I would discover the new bomb he had dropped. I stopped inviting people over because my life was so consumed by urine that I no longer even tried to keep up with it. He had won.

I paid the millions it costs to see your vet every few weeks and we began to brainstorm this issue together. Turns out Pooter has an actual bladder problem (only discovered after I brought in a pee sample which I will not explain how I got from a cat) and I now pay millions more for his specialty food. Pooter is also apparently feeling the loss of my breakup from last year, how tough a time that must have been for him. The pee had become one problem on a list of many, the worst of which was his chasing me around and attacking my legs. I realize now that he just thought my skirts were too short so he wanted to mar my legs so I’d be forced into pants, a well played move. I was also told to play with him more to try and make him so tired that his stress and anger were appeased. This task turned into countless hours of me running around with a mouse like his personal toy slave.

I thought our routine satisfied him and mistakenly let my guard down. Soon after, his master attack was upon me and I am left with the scars to prove it. You might even say I am a Pooter veteran. I returned to my vet and had my final breakdown right there in her exam room. I’m sure the dogs waiting in the lobby weren’t at all comforted by my hysterical wailings.

He still has a few issues, but we have discussed rehab

He still has a few issues, but we have discussed rehab

After countless bottles of laundry detergent, hours of playtime, specialty food, a new litterbox, prozac and his own kitten friend I am happy to report that Pooter is now somewhat well adjusted.

What did I expect? I am neurotic; why wouldn’t he be as well? A wise friend once said to me, “You named him Pooter… he’s just letting you know how he feels about that strange choice. Why didn’t you just give him a normal name?”

Crap, I named my new cat Ninja Squee…

And sometimes late at night… a boy band is formed

4 Jan

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Aside

When All Ideas Fail…

3 Jan

I’m actually so exhausted and weary that I went to a blog generator website tonight. I should maybe feel ashamed, but once I saw what they were giving me, I’m actually pretty bummed I didn’t find these magical tools sooner.

At first I made a pact with myself that I would write about the first idea generated no matter what came up. That was before I saw “piano scales” come up.

Really? Oh perfect, that will be brilliant and hysterical to read. Why would we need to weigh pianos so much that they have their own scales?

::Cue the joke drums:: I think I just became a hack.

After clicking through many more randomly generated gems I was thoroughly amused. Major topics like:

  • I could do without Amy Winehouse– Well you got your wish generator… she died. Too soon.
  • 7 Things I hate about Robin Williams– I can’t hate Robin Williams! Think about Hook and Jumanji and the singing genie in Aladdin; I could go on and on. Sure he’s gone downhill but so would anyone after a hit like Happy Feet Two, that just can’t be matched. I will not take on the challenge of making this full list of seven and I will only name one thing– I hate that Robin Williams isn’t here with me now hanging out, watching Special Victims Unit with me and eating fruit snacks. I think he and I would really click as buddies.
  • I hate chip dip- BUT I DON’T. Stop trying to turn me against awesome things. Who hates chip dip?!?! Nobody, thats who.
  • The future of Best Buy- Is this an attempt at making me get political or socially opinionated? Believe me I have no trouble with that. I just think if I’m going to go there it won’t be for something so dull that even the heads of Best Buy itself use topic generators to figure out anything else to discuss at their meetings.
  • George Lucas- Even though this is topical right now, my head is still swimming with Peter Jackson. As a comedian I think I’m supposed to make some kind of joke about Mickey Mouse needing a jacket for planet Hoth, but I’m too tired to be clever. Meh.
  • Over the counter medications that don’t work- We can consider this one worth putting in the research phase pile. One day when I have nothing to write about I’ll just take a bunch of over the counter meds and see how it goes. Brilliant.
  • Depictions of Satan- Has anyone ever taken that idea and run with it from this generator site? That sounds delightful.
  • Can you believe Portugal?- That’s racist.
  • 5 things I like about black pepper- 1. The smell and taste of it on my food. 2. The fact that, unlike white pepper, I can see how much has landed so I never over pepper. 3. It is offered to me in a big phallic shaped dispenser at fancy restaurants and it makes me feel important. 4. Makes my food zippy. 5. I think it would win in a cage match versus salt. Wow, that list was easier than I expected, must be because black pepper is as awesome as Robin Williams. I’d like to sprinkle some of him onto my food….

Too far? Yeah. I need to f^#&!%@ sleep.

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Oh Robin, who could resist that punim?

Tolkien Resolutions Part Two — Villains

2 Jan

So after I wrote the post yesterday about resolutions inspired by Tolkien creations, I received a few comments and texts from friends asking me about some of their favorites I had forgotten to mention. When I looked closer at the list of suggested characters I noticed a common theme throughout — they were all bad guys.

How could this oversight have happened? Have I become one of those people who only considers the feelings and issues of the protagonist? I was an English major in college, so I’ve spent about one thousand hours too many discussing the meaning behind characters in novels. I should know better than to cast aside the motives behind and the lessons learned from an antihero. In honor of that sentiment, here I seek out possible resolutions for the new year garnered from the stories of Tolkien villains.

Gollum/Smeagol is both a representation of good and evil and the downfall of human (or hobbit) existence to obsession. He is a cautionary tale for those struggling with addiction or even simply, unhealthy priorities. So the next time you go to pick up that extra drink or you think it’s probably fine to trip on acid while working your shift at IHOP, just know that you could end up anorexic, bald and living in a cave.

220px-Gollum

At some point there needs to be an intervention… or at the very least just have a cheeseburger or two

Maybe this year you can kick those nasty habits by getting into an argument with yourself in a mirror or reflecting pool. Sometimes the most effective person to whip you into shape is your delusional, opposing, secondary personality; just be sure to have said fight when others aren’t around. A change in diet could be helpful as well. Switching to fresh foods like raw, wriggling live fish and small game can take off a lot of unwanted pounds and free up the time you would have spent cooking for a support group or private moaning session in your cave. Take the time to find the things most precious to you, but don’t be creepy and intense about it.

Saruman, the white wizard of Isengard gets caught up with the wrong crowd, but haven’t we all for a time? When I was in high school I spent my freshman year loitering at Store 24, wearing JNCO jeans (unforgivable I know) and listening to Linkin Park so I could fit in. Is it any different to create a new mega race of killing machines, tear down a forest and try to exterminate a whole city? I think not.

Have some understanding here; if you meet a guy who had been down on his luck and he tells you he had this awesome jewelry that was stolen, wouldn’t the humanitarian in you want to help a brother out?

Geez, watch where you point that thing. If you break a lamp or a vase you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Geez, watch where you point that thing. If you break a lamp or a vase you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Alright, so maybe he didn’t mention right away that he wanted to rule the world with said ring and maybe to make that dream happen a few races had to be taken out in their entirety… or maybe that ring belonged to his grandma and it simply had sentimental value. Sometimes it’s nice to help out a new buddy but, fitting in with the cool kids shouldn’t dictate our choices to the point where we are wearing ugly oversized denim without looking at the repercussions (again, I know it was an unforgivable fashion choice and it is a shame I will take to my end).

Shelob is an inspiration for all women. She has her own place and she was hanging in the hip neighborhood for evil long before Sauron and the orcs came along. Isn’t that always the way? You find a great area and then a new crowd moves in and clutters up your favorite dive bars and breakfast spots. Shelob still wasn’t hindered, she just decides to eat in more often — a common but often abandoned resolution. This not only saves money but it is also a healthier choice when it comes to calories. She seems to be doing just fine without a steady man and she has Gollum bringing her snacks, smart gal. In 2013 us ladies could all take a page from her book and try to depend a little less on men for affection and instead start using them for the free meals. Don’t worry, when Mr. Right comes along you can ensnare him, but what’s the rush?

Sauron is the top tier of evil in this tale, so I would be remiss to miss him. The best thing you can learn from him is to fight for what is yours. He made that ring himself, it doesn’t get much clearer then that in an argument. He is going about getting it back all wrong though. I agree with the cliche, “if you love something let it go”, so it seems like overkill to spend your time acting as a surveillance system just always watching everything, “Is that my ring?! Nope, check over there. Is that my ring?! Nope. What about that way… is THAT my ring?!” Good hairy hobbits foot, get a hobby! Maybe make a new ring or even a bracelet this time. If you don’t think you can ever replace it, take up word searches or bird watching, with an eye that big I would think that would be a good fit. Be appreciative of what you have: an orc army, your own active volcano decor, a magical white haired new friend who seems whipped enough to do just about anything for you and nine functioning fingers. There are many who have a lot less to be thankful so calm down and stop getting all frantic and stalker-ish. Plan for a brighter 2013… maybe club polo nights with the Warg Riders and have the Nazgul bring sangria.

wargs action shot on hill

They already have the sticks, just add a ball and this seems like a natural transition of activities

Tolkien Resolutions For 2013

1 Jan

I resolved to write in my blog every day this week. What does it say about me that my goal was a week long instead of committing to something for the year? Does it say lazy or am I so realistic that I’m actually a super genius because I’m setting myself up for success? Last year I said I would write in my blog every day for a year, by the end of 2012 I believe I was at 57 posts… because there are 57 days in a year…

I’m not sure what I should be resolving for the entire year. I just finished watching the extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy films and I feel it was the right way to bring in the new year; I learned a lot from each character.

Frodo made me feel that it’s important to have a purpose. It doesn’t matter how you behave once you’ve set a goal, so long as you have that to tell people about, you can behave as poorly as you’d like. If you are in the middle of a major task you should feel free to yell at your friends because why the heck do they think it’s okay to butt in (you are the important one after all). You should also be trusted to decide when you need a breather, even if that moment is when you are staring a Black Rider in the face. If people are foolish enough to rally together to help you out as a team (or fellowship, as it were), just run away and tell as few of them as possible that you are taking off. Let them find their own way to be relevant, they shouldn’t be stealing your cool plans.

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Is this the face of someone insignificant to the group and the storyline?! I think not; this is my super serious face.

Legolas taught me that it is important to look to the future. When you are struggling with this it is also acceptable to look off into the distance with a serious look on your face; as long as you appear to be contemplating things, people will think you’re wise. If you want to seem extra smart, listen closely to what the people around you are saying and then repeat it with gusto, after all, repetition helps ideas to sink in. If nobody in the area is saying anything just look around and narrate something obvious in a really dramatic fashion, it makes it appear as though you are in the know.

Gimli inspired me to try to grow an awesome beard. I think this is the year.

Gandalf influenced me to assert myself more. When things aren’t going his way he just puffs up his chest, raises his super important staff and scolds everyone. I have a tough time with confrontation but he shows me that I can talk down to everyone and still be considered important and awesome. I think getting a big stick to carry around would help me not only remember this lesson, but also, if my yelling wasn’t up to par, I could just hit people with it.

Arwen shows me that love is worth fighting for. It is also worth almost dying, abandoning your family, doming yourself to grief and giving up super awesome immortality for… ok maybe all I got from her is that sheer fabrics are going to be hot again this year.

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I’m here and I’m disheveled, therefore you know I’m about to say something wild and important.

Aragorn is really daring, and makes me wonder if I should take more risks in my day to day. At the very least I think I should start entering rooms that have double doors by pushing them both open full force and proclaiming my intentions at maximum volume. I bet I could pull off arriving everywhere on horseback too; that would be badass and eco-friendly. Plus, he looks seriously good for someone in their eighties – he must moisturize daily. I should get back to my nightly regimen.

Samwise is the greatest of them all. Thanks to him I now understand the importance of loyalty. Even when the hobbit you are loyal to yells at you, mistrusts your intentions, allows other people to call you fat to your face, almost lets you drown and abandons you to hang out with someone else, you have to remain the bigger person. Go ahead, let them think they saved the world and destroyed the ring, the smart people will see the truth. Plus, they are your friend and to be honest they don’t really have anything going for them if you blow their cover on what really went down in Mordor. Let them have it.

For those of you who understood none of this post because you have not read the books or seen the films, maybe your resolution should be to get on that. Seriously, it’s 2013 and you’re kind of behind.

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I obviously need the full year to master my Legolas face

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