Saturday, June 27, 2009

Helping around the house

Last night, I'm sitting down watching "Say yes to the dress", well, because that's what she wants to watch so that's what we're watching. Then the notices come in......

"Honey, we have to put away the leftovers, fold some clothes, and make the bed before it gets too late." To which I replied in the standard format "Yes dear." Considering the fact that the episode that was showing on TV was one that we've seen close to 9 times already I went and washed the dishes, took out the trash, put away the leftovers and made some coffee.

Then it was time to make the bed.

I've been through this process before, and I have yet to figure out why my presence is required when it's time to make the bed because "we" don't make the bed. She makes her side, and then comes over and remakes my side. So last night, after layer two of my side was remade, ironed, pleated, tucked just so and waiting for layer three I ask "Can I at least put the covers on the pillows?" After some pause and consideration her reply was: "Yes, but only on your pillows." It seems that there's a specific methodology involved in properly tucking a pillow into a pillow case that most men simply aren't aware of.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't get the whole "bedspread centered to within 1/64" tolerance on each side" and some of the other minutia involved in making a bed. Hell, you're just going to mess it up again anyway, why bother?

But we do what we must to keep the peace:)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life as a plant-man...

Life has been strange over these last few years (weeks, to be honest about it.) I've been watching every calorie that I take in and it's driving me absolutely mad. I never realized that I subsisted on approximately 4.7 billion calories per day in my normal mode.

On the brighter side? I've lost about 10 lbs already. I weighed myself and came in at 178 the other morning, down from 190 when I started. That's a good thing, right?

Then I look at the other side of the dieting effects. After living on dill pickles (0 calories), mustard greens (5 calories per serving for the "off" brands) and sour kraut (10 calories per serving for the "off" brands) my skin now has a light green tint and I smell slightly pickled- even straight out of the shower. I honestly believe that I could produce my own nutrients with enough sunlight due to the chlorophyl that I've taken in to this point.

Not that the green skin tint bothers me so much, except for the fact that my hands are still a brilliant white due to washing dishes. It seems that even as a plant I have chores.

The only other thing that I find strange about all of this is the fact that I have a strong craving for Miracle Grow diluted in water instead of coffee now. I can only hope that my tap-root grows a bit during this process ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

A glimpse from the other side...

I know most everyone has utilized the convenience of fast food at some point. For the most part many establishments have good service and the product is fair as well. Most people understand that not every visit on every day is going to be perfect, no matter how hard we (as employees) strive to provide that very aspect. Then you have the people that call to complain if they have to wait two minutes extra for the food, regardless of the fact that:

a: They had to search for a parking spot in order to stand in line because the place is packed


b: The drive-thru line is backed up to the street and beyond because the place is packed

I'd like to share an actual (and unfortunately common) drive-thru transaction as seen from the inside of the food-service business:

Cashier: Hi! My I help you?

Customer: Hold on... (then the phone call starts) Hey! I'm at (insert restaurant), do you want anything? No, I'll go by there when I'm done here. What?? He did NOT! No, and tell Keisha that she can't use my laptop. Ok, put her on the phone...

Cashier: Can I help you find anything?

Customer: Just a minute, I'm looking!! Ok, they have (insert menu items, usually 90% of the menu being read into the phone). Ok, so you want (insert items) and you want them without (insert condiments) and add (insert condiments)? Miss??? MISS!?!?!?! (like it's us keeping them from ordering)

Cashier: Yes? Go ahead with your order.

Customer: Ok, I want (insert items, sans condiments).

Cashier: Ok, would you care for anything else?

Customer: Yes, just a minute. (another call: Hey! I'm at (insert restaurant), what do you want? Reads off all menu items again. Ok, yeah, yeah, I went to the grocery store already. No, I didn't get milk, but I got some yogurt. Oh! I forgot about the candy bars! No, I'll have to get those later. Who? I paid that bill! No, I paid that! Look on the counter, right by the cookies, I have the receipt. No, that's the other one. Look right there. Yes, that's it. Ok, I'll call them when I get home. Ok, what do you want? Ok. Miss? MISS!?!?!?! (again, like we've made her wait).

Cashier: Yes?

Customer: I have another order. I want (insert items as needed).

Cashier: Ok, your total will be (insert amount).

Customer: MISS!!! I have another order!

Cashier: Go ahead.

Customer: Just a minute, let me see what I want. Ok, I want (insert items).....

I swear to you this actually happened, and happens on a regular basis at my location.

And people call to complain to me about service times? It's amazing... absolutely amazing. Then of course when they get to the window the debit card is denied, or they don't have enough money, or they want to add several items to each order, etc. etc.

Ok, rant mode off:) I just wanted to let you see what WE deal with each day, every day, time after time.

And for the rest of you that know what you want, know how much you have in your wallet, and don't use the cell phone to order for the neighborhood in a drive-thru? I thank you ever so graciously and with profound appreciation. I also offer my sincerest of apologies if we muck up your order at times. Again, thank you!

Disclaimer: I've been doing this for 28 years. I am no more jaded regarding customers and the actions thereof than the average guy on the street. I've seen great customers and I've seen some that you don't even want walking into your store because you can never please them. I truly appreciate the good customers, and the average customer that has some degree of understanding. We do screw up things on this end, just give a chance to make it right. The good managers always make it right. On the whole, I really do enjoy my job:)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Business As Usual

A typical day (i.e. today):

Wake up, turn on the coffee. The filter promptly falls over and fills the coffee pot with grounds (which I find later during my first cup of coffee.) Grab two donut stix to kick-start my (sic) metabolism for the day. Try to check email and computer needs to be rebooted yet again.

Go the to kitchen, wash the dishes from last night, grab a cup of coffee which now contains all of the fiber from the coffee beans that I could possibly require for the day. After cleaning up the coffee/grounds on the floor and counter where I spit it when I discovered solids in my morning beverage I vacuumed the carpets. It seems that Bob (the latest addition to the family) considers anyone vacuuming as fair game for shredding practice. I surmised this from the fact that before I was done with my inside chores he had removed everything below the ankle on my left foot, including the skin that I have so carefully cultivated over the past 48 years.

After applying the tourniquet to staunch the flow of blood I hobbled to the dungeon (also known as the computer room) to answer my cell phone which was ringing non-stop. Amanda was reminding me to get the tarp from the front yard where she made me put it during the thunderstorm the day before. (Don't ask... just go with it.) This was something I was going to do anyway as soon as I didn't feel faint from the loss of blood, but I appreciated the fact that she called to make sure I was doing my job properly.

My next few hours were spent unpacking boxes, of which we have many. The boxes that I was unpacking were some of my own. I was arranging my tools and equipment out in the doghouse.....errrrr.... shed. I was originally going to get a spot in the garage (which wouldn't require going into the weather to get to my tools and equipment) but that was vetoed by the fact that every available space in the garage is taken up by boxes and boxes and boxes. And did I mention boxes? So anyway, I made myself a second home in the shed. On the bright side- since there isn't any air-conditioning in the shed I lose about 2 pounds of water weight for every hour spent out there:)

At this point I was really craving a cigarette... so I braved the treadmill. Now remember, this is the first time I've done any running in the last year and a half. I was doing pretty good. I had that thing up to 6 miles per hour, comfortable pace, no worries breathing, and thinking: Hey! This isn't so bad....

That's when I made my second mistake. The first mistake was not holding the little string which was tied to the key that stops the machine if you fall too far back or pull it out. The second mistake was trying to look at the TV at an acute angle to the right while I was running 6 miles per hour on a machine that doesn't automatically slow down so that you can stabilize your balance. And running at that speed while looking to one side just isn't that intuitive. The mind rebelled, the feet stepped wrong, and the treadmill didn't slow down even though I did.

I really am a dumbass. You see, I have the back of the treadmill against a wall. So when I fell and failed to take the little key that stops the machine with me, I was balled up against the wall while the treadmill continued on and rolled me like a towel in the dryer. NOT as fun as it might sound.

So after 15 minutes of running, 3 minutes of tumble-drying, and several more minutes of wailing in pain I look at the display and learned that I burned a whopping 50 calories from fat. In dieters terms? That means that I am allowed to have a Hershey's Kiss, assuming I don't want to just leave those calories off of my body.

You know, cigarettes as a form of dieting don't sound all that bad.

Just saying.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weight loss vs. Waterboarding

Ok, so the cigarettes went away again and the weight immediately climbed back upon my bones.

Last time I quit smoking (for seven or so years) I gained about 20 pounds over the course of a year. I was counting on the same time frame this time around. But of course there's a catch- last time I began jogging as soon as I quit. In fact, the exercise is what aided me in staying smoke free through the roughest part of quitting. This time? I haven't started the exercise yet, and every fat cell in my body is rejoicing at being constantly nourished to the point of gluttony.

A bit of background: Many in my family are over-weight to near obesity. I have always been on the skinny side (taking after my mother's family.) The largest I have ever grown to is a whopping 194 pounds. That's not too bad on a 6'1" frame except for the fact that it all sits around my midsection. Being near 50 doesn't help matters either. I tried on a suit that I bought when I was "fat". To my horror, it was too small!

After running in to make sure that I wasn't in mortal danger (which was a possibilty considering the mournful wailing I was emitting) Amanda suggested that I join Spark People and use the site to monitor how many calories I take in daily so that I can fit into my suit properly by August.

Let me tell you.... dieting is NOT for the faint of heart!! After going through this process I have nothing but the greatest of respect for those that can stick to a diet.

It started out like this:

Her: How much do you think you need to lose in two months?
Me: Oh, 10 pounds should do it.
Her: Alright. Then you can have 1690 calories per day and meet your goal in weight loss.
Me: No problem!
Her: What did you have for breakfast today?
Me: My usual- two donut sticks, two small items at work.
Her: (after much calculating) That's 1543 calories. You have 147 calories left for today.
Me: Ok, great! It's 6pm and I'll just have my two sandwiches and be done for the day.
Her: Nope.
Me: Why not?
Her: Each sandwich is 546 calories. That will put you over.
Me: What can I have then?
Her: Water.

And so it has been going. I've found that eating -anything- puts me over on calories. WTF????

After much griping and complaining she dragged me to the store to find things that I could "eat". So I read some labels.

Canned Pineapple: 180 calories per serving.
Canned Chili: 290 calories per serving.
Mustard Greens: 15 calories per serving
Peanut Butter: 190 calories per serving

And on and on. What's that? Not bad you say? Ha!!!

That's where they get you, because when you read the fine print you find the following:

Canned Pineapple: 477 servings per 6 oz can. You can have 1/4 of a tidbit today, that's it.
Canned Chili: 800 servings per can. You can lick the lid, but it will likely put you over the limit.
Mustard Greens: 12 servings per can. You need to be a hamster to fill up on this stuff.
Peanut Butter: Serving size is 1/2 teaspoon. You don't even dirty the knife with that little bit.

And when they say teaspoon? They mean ONE LEVEL TEASPOON of something. Hell, you don't even have to wash the spoon when you're done! Not like you'd be willing to leave any residue if you dared brave the calories anyway.

All in all, torture would be preferable to dieting in regards to weight loss.

People complain that waterboarding is bad... but at least they don't make prisoners diet.

Your wife, or mine?

I just realized how ambiguous the title on this blog could be. Let me state for the record that I encourage you to seduce your own wife, since I'll be working on mine and not yours. I suppose it could have read "The Art of Seducing My Wife" but then that would leave the door open to anyone who cared to try.... we'll just not go there:)

Choreplay is the new black. I have figured out that if one takes the time to contribute to household chores on a regular basis not only does the wife appreciate the assistance but she's also more relaxed, rested, and open to suggestion when it comes to doing "other" things:)

Let me warn you though: There is a fine line that you must walk so that she doesn't come to expect you to do the chores. Once that happens you inherit the tasks for the rest of your life and instead of being rewarded appropriately for a job well done you only stand the risk of being blacklisted for not keeping the house clean. Each wife will be different regarding how much you can do without becoming a Choreboy, so be careful!

There are other downsides to doing chores for sex. Such as the Pavlovian response of getting aroused every time I hear a vacuum cleaner on carpet. Dishes clinking as they are being rinsed do a fair job of stimulating the senses as well.

Legal Disclaimer: If you cross that fine line and the chores officially become "your job" I will not be held responsible nor will I come to your house to assist you. The quantity and depth of work that you need to do to be successful in Choreplay depends strictly on your wife, as each one is different. It's up to you to find the limits and tread carefully so that you aren't sucked into the never-ending vortex of housework without reward!