I heart to fart. I heart him too.

Disclaimer: Bodily functions discussed in this post. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

I’ve found a candidate for an SO (aka Significant Other) who may be around for…a long time. I don’t say things like “forever” because I think it’s silly to make plans with “forever” in mind. I mean, you should consider that your “forever” may develop schizophrenia in its 20’s. And lots of “forevers” die of malaria. And some “forevers” have unfortunate bungee jumping experiences. And lions and bears sometimes eat “forevers.” Makes you rethink “forever” a bit, doesn’t it?

So anyways, a long-time SO – I think I’ve found one.

“Gasp! How can you say such things, oh great Blogger?!” you ask.

Well, because. It’s all very logical you see. I happen to have a crappy colon (Teehee, pun intended.), which the all-knowing M.D.s have all-knowingly dubbed “IBS,” i.e. “You have a crappy colon that doesn’t function correctly and we don’t know why but we’ll blame stress.” So, if I may be frank, I’m quite the gassy individual. And a good fart to me is like good sssssssssstrawberry shortcake (Gotcha with that one, didn’t I?).

“OK, all-knowing Blogger, where is the logic?” you ask.

Simple: I can fart around this long-time SO candidate. And I’m not talking dainty, girly farts smelling of roses and butterflies, I’m talking a fart of mass-destructive powers; farts that clear the room every time, and clear the room for at least 20 – 30 minutes, minimum; farts that could bring down Zeus. Yeah, they’re serious. And I decided awhile back I shouldn't waste my time with an SO who I couldn’t comfortably fart around; because, honestly, if I had to hold them in I think my guts would spontaneously combust (There’s a reason that stuff needs to leave your body.).

And, really, if you’re going to shoot for almost-forever, a fart-tolerator is much more practical than a flower-buyer. Because flowers die way before forever, but as long as my crappy colon stays with me (which I’m guessing will be forever in all ways relevant to my earthly existence), I’m pretty sure my awesome farts will accompany me on all of my dates. Plus I think inappropriate bodily functions are funny; and I like an SO I can laugh with.

So, it’s settled, I can fart big nasty farts while sitting next to him and he just makes a you’re-so-gross face and then we make out. Yes, prime candidate.


Body by Glamour, Body for Me

I’ve found myself in a slump. OK, let’s be honest, this is not a new slump. This is a slump 2, 3-ish years in the making. And, ok, maybe it’s not a slump. Maybe it’s a crater or a canyon, scaled by mighty cliffs.

Anyways, I’m down. Call me a victim of grad school, being lost by the wayside, directionless-ness, binge eating, alcohol drinking, and stress sleeping. All in all, a good experience made better by good habits.

But I’m ready to get out now. To be realistic, on the scale of real-people-contributing-to-society, my slump would prob be classified grade A ditch, max. Perhaps a ditch deepening w/ each spoonful of ice cream but regardless, only a ditch. So, don’t get your hopes up, my tactics for removing myself from it won’t be too severe. No reason to let it deepen further though, bring on the 7 dwarves, let’s whistle while we work, hand me the hammer and nails, we’re building a ladder out of here.

First strike: binge eating and lethargy.
Weapon: Body by Glamour (BBG).

Le sigh.

This is a very sad confession for me. You may not understand if you don’t know me; but I used to find smug satisfaction in being a fairly fit individual, having muscle and litheness for no reason at all. Not for any sporting activity, as coordination is one of those skills where the critical age for development passed me by. Not for photos, as I’ve also failed to develop any grand photogenic qualities. Regardless of the reasons for my past eagerness to assume the body of a 16-year old boy, I always scoffed at work-outs in magazines such as Glamour or Cosmo or anything lacking a cover featuring a well-oiled and photo-shopped individual pretending to sweat.

However, given my present wimpy state, I think it appropriate that I come off my high horse and turn to these devices I long neglected for (fingers crossed) a radical change in my physique. Plus, BBG looks fairly all-inclusive (exercises + nutrition tips + sufficiently annoying motivation from Jillian Michaels (aka Biggest Loser guru (She’s the one w/ the ferocious eyebrows.))) and is free.

Now for those of you rubbing your hands together in anxious excitement, eyes wide with anticipation, and for those of you w/ mule-like willpower, who, upon setting your mind on something, soldier on w/ disgusting fervor until your goal is mounted upon your wall, thinking that you will cheer me on and provide me with the necessary motivation for whipping this ass into shape – allow me to forewarn you: I suck at all tasks concerning the annihilation of deep-rooted habits.

Exhibit A: Last year I decided to become vegetarian for moral purposes.  Later that year, I vacationed w/ S.O. (Significant Other) to England in the summer and decided to allow for a hiatus in my vegetarianism long enough to enjoy the cheeses and sausages that accompanied afternoon tea.  Back in the States, however, Veggie Me was back on.  That is, until one haunting weekend with a family BBQ. Let’s just say that after the BBQ disbanded (where I successfully remained vegetarian) many cocktails and much debauchery followed. I returned home, a bit off my senses, to ravage a refrigerator full of leftover bratwursts  and hamburgers and tartar sauce. I’ll spare you the details; it wasn’t pretty. Suffice it to say, Vegetarian Me soon retired.

Exhibit B, C, D,…, ∞: All of the eating habit overhauls I have tried to instill upon myself in the past few years. Fail, fail, and fail.

What can I say? I like to eat; which was never a problem until I decided to deal with my current loathsome situation (you know, that of being privileged enough to gain higher education) by becoming a lethargic mess of lazy.

But it all stops here. I will graduate soon and I don’t want my induction into society to be one for a lethargic mess of lazy. Posts of my experience may follow (Using “may” allows for a bit of a cushion in the department of me not actually following through, but not having my failure blatantly exposed here because I did only say I may post.). I’ve even considered including some awesome “Before” photos like in Glamour magazine, where the woman is standing in an unflattering stance in an unflattering bathing suit; but that's doubtful, as it would involve me throwing all pride to the wind. [Tangent: Isn’t it curious that the “After” photo is always the woman in a flattering black dress, hair and make-up exquisite, one-foot forward to best accentuate her curves? Hmmm…]


the best hipsters, anorexics do make

So the other night, a couple of my friends and I traverse across the river to get some dinner. [Background tip: For those of you not familiar w/ “across the river,” it refers to that half of town not associated with campus, i.e. that half of town where undergraduates have not yet learned to venture due to the general higher prices and increased need of a vehicle and driver.] We settle upon a small hot-dog-joint-slash-bar dubbed DT Kirbys. Immediately you should recognize the charm of this establishment by its status as not only a hot dog/burger/fries restaurant but also as a fully stocked bar. Its charm also arises in the facts that the venue is tiny, has original hard-wood floors, minimal and crappy decorating, and contains a TV set in one side of the front display windows, opposite of bleachers in the other display window, for your convenient sidewalk viewing.

So my two friends and I nestle into one of the close-quarters tables and begin to glance over our coffee-stained menus. Our waiter stops by to take our orders (notably without pad and paper because he is that good). He, indubitably doing his part to add to DT’s allure, is the quintessential across-the-river hipster [Background tip 2: Again for those of you not familiar w/ “across the river,” it is teeming with an unusual number of hipsters for a Midwestern rural college town. We have yet to determine where these hipsters come from. Perhaps they sleep all day only to come out after dusk. And perhaps water frightens them, preventing them from venturing back across the river to be spotted near our campus-dwellings. Or perhaps they’re all hiding out in the liberal arts buildings laboring away at their novels and poems and soulful paintings, and thus we have yet to cross their paths as we toil away with our soulless science.]. My two friends and I proceed to get into a discussion (see above, background tip 2) regarding these beloved hipsters whom we have repeatedly observed from afar, furtively noting their fashion sense (or, at times, lack thereof).

Sam remarks that most hipsters aren’t particularly friendly. Lina and I mentally scan the breadth of our hipster acquaintances and promptly nod our heads in agreement. Now, I hate to make broad-sweeping stereotypical statements so let me quickly express that I don’t think this is true for aaaaaaall hipsters, but in general this does seem to fit the mold. For example, Hipster DT Waiter - not particularly friendly. He was a fine waiter, don’t get me wrong, and (almost) promptly fulfilled all of our requests. But, there was no service with a smile. The tricky thing about hipsters, though, is that you can’t take their cold-shoulder-first-impression personally because they will often come around for a second impression and engage you with a witty comment or, if you're really lucky, an actual exchange of sentences. This interaction will inevitably leave you with a smile and a bit of hop in your step as you walk away thinking, “That’s right; that just happened. Hipster Acquaintance just talked to me. Who’s the cool cat now bitches?” (Of course it's still not you, because you just used "cool cat" to refer to yourself. Lose.)

Progressing through our intellectual conversation, I mention that the best hipsters are the skinniest hipsters. To get an A+ hipster grade I’m thinking you need to have a bit of an anorexic-look to you. To be fair to those of you who enjoy food, crack addiction should serve the same purpose. You know what I’m talking about though, that peakish appearance that is only achievable after a significant period of deprivation. No amount of exercise and sweat will achieve this appearance, for these things will build muscle and bulk – both, no no’s for hipsterdom.

I think this criterion is useful to hipsters in two ways. First, it acts as a discriminator: the hipster population will quickly plateau once the supply of individuals willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve a peakish look exhausts itself (or those individuals w/ fantastic metabolism). Secondly, the wispy look of being under-fed is favorable to the hipster style.
Think about it, chicken legs make the best legs for sporting skinny jeans and loafers/chucks.

Tiny biceps look the best in baggy tank tops.

A pixie-face best accentuates oversized sunglasses.

A hollow torso provides the best landscape for an oversized flannel.

A v-neck is flattered best by piercing collarbones.
pic courtesy of the one Mitchell Grant Gardiner

And no butt makes skinny jeans’ butt sag in the best way.
My friends and I decided the facts that 1) hipsters are always hungry and 2) their balls are tucked in a bit too tight, inevitably explain the perpetual chip on their shoulder… And this is why, much to my dismay, I will never successfully become a hipster. “Pass the cheeseburgers please.”


"a tragedy that didn't have to happen"

Quote from CNN coverage of the death of Sea World's trainer Dawn Brancheau.. seems a bit redundant; I mean, aren't most tragedies ones that didn't really have to happen?

Especially those involving massive wild animals we hole up in bland pocket-sized compartments for our convenient viewing and entertainment?

Quotes that I especially love from this article:

"'we went down to look at his full body underneath the isolation tank,' she said. 'Everything seemed calm and OK. The trainer was laying down on him and kissing his nose and rubbing him.' But the scene changed quickly, she said."...Hmm, maybe the whale didn't interpret kissing and rubbing quite like we humans might.

"Jeffrey Ventre, a former SeaWorld trainer, described...Tillikum (that's the whale by the way, 'Shamu' is just his stage name apparently) as 'a great animal' who has sired 13 offspring. 'He's huge, he's impressive; people just see him and they go 'Wow!' He's a money stream as well.'" ...Wow, awesome example of the way the zoo-community views its animals even while, wait for it...:
"Fred Felleman, a marine consultant in Seattle, Washington, said keeping the social animals in what amounts to isolation is bound to cause problems. 'The fact is we don't have the facilities to adequately accommodate not only the physical needs, the psychological and social needs of these animals,' he told CNN affiliate KIRO-TV." ...Huh, mind-blowing conundrum we've found ourselves in here... Reminds me of elephants. And polar bears. And any other large, cuddly, impressive mammal we rip from their natural environment for their own good...oh wait, no, for the fact that we want to rape the environment of all its natural resources.

Quote from a CBS article:
"Chuck Tompkins, curator of zoological operations at SeaWorld Orlando indicated that the marine park plans to continue using Tilikum in its shows. 'We need to evaluate our handling procedures and how we interact with him .... I can guarantee we will make any change necessary,' he said." ...Um no you won't; because you can't afford to make all of the necessary changes. And the millions and thousands of dollars you put into safely parading your impressive inmates could be put to much greater use in conserving their natural environments so we don't have to resort to captivity.

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to release some of my frustrations w/ human ignorance towards captive wild animals.

And p.s. I in no way want to lessen the loss of  Dawn Brancheau by this post. My rantings are in response to the timeless ignorance that society has displayed when addressing issues of conservation and animal use.