Sunday, January 28, 2007


So What Makes Women Happy?

"Once I made a list of things that I liked and things that really bothered me and PRINTED IT OUT FOR HIM, things have been 100% better."

Miss Tori pointed this out to me because once in a while I've complained about how men are portrayed as drooling imbeciles and women are portrayed as long-suffering geniuses in much of modern media today. She felt like this comment on a message board was a perfect example of this sort of anti-male attitude common in modern society. Many other comments on the message board were of the "Yeah, men sure are dumb" variety. Perhaps there was even a reference to going to Jupiter to get more stupider in there somewhere, I didn't read all the comments. However, the actual quote at the top of this post didn't offend me as Miss Tori imagined.

My response? "Sounds like a pretty good idea." I went on to suggest that most guys, if they were being truly honest, would admit that a written list of, let's say, the top five likes and top five dislikes, would be very much appreciated. Tape it to the mirror and you could look it over every morning when you shave, and everything would be champagne kisses and caviar dreams.

Miss Tori was shocked. She thinks that it makes guys sound so dumb. We actually need a list that tells us how we should behave? Isn't that insulting?

My thought? Trying and often failing to "get" assorted hints and clues isn't making guys feel like Einsteins, and something plain-spoken and straightforward like a list would be welcomed.

Even Ben Franklin knew that a list of virtues was necessary. He came up with thirteen, and developed a plan to master the first item on the list for one week before adding the next item, requiring mastery of both before adding the third, and so on. And Franklin was no imbecile.

So give me a list, and include me among the geniuses of history, forever to be known as the guy who pleased a woman outside of bed, as well as in it. Or am I just being dumb?

Guys? Ladies? Any input on the idea of a list?


Saturday, January 27, 2007


What Does "Surrender" Mean Anyway?

You may recall that I came into possession of the Guitar Hero II game over the holidays. One of the songs on the game is "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. Even playing the song on the game, I never paid much attention to the lyrics; I'm too busy trying to hit all the notes. The other day, Miss Tori asked me just what the heck the words were, and I didn't know what to tell her.

This morning, I decided to look them up, and I still don't know what to tell her:
Words and Music by Rick Nielsen

Mother told me, yes, she told me I'd meet girls like you.
She also told me, "Stay away, you'll never know what you'll catch."
Just the other day I heard a soldier falling off some Indonesian junk that's going round.

Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird.
Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away, ay, ay, ay.

Father says, "Your mother's right, she's really up on things."
"Before we married, Mommy served in the WACS in the Philippines."
Now, I had heard the WACS recruited old maids for the war.
But mommy isn't one of those, I've known her all these years.

Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird.
Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away, ay, ay, ay.

Whatever happened to all this season's losers of the year?
Ev'ry time I got to thinking, where'd they disappear?
When I woke up, Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch.
Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my Kiss records out.

Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird.
Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away, ay, ay, ay.


Repeat Chorus 7X

I mean, come on, where do you go from there?

Look, I figure I can wrangle an explanation out of just about anything. Send in your dreams and I'll interpret them for you. Ask me for love life advice and I will advise you accordingly. I'll even give you a line by line reading of "Pour Some Sugar On Me," by Def Leppard.

But whatever I thought "Surrender" was going to be about, this wasn't it. I have to go to my cult meeting now, and I need some more time to think about it. If any of you want to shed some light on the subject, the comments are open.

Actual Update: Miss Tori did get a gold star rating on the song before I did.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Ho-ly Crap

Miss Tori just pointed this out to me, and it just sounds crazy. Question is, is it so crazy, it just might work?
Breaking news: If you use birth control pills, ask your doctor about whether you should insert them vaginally. Some studies have shown that this method eases pain more effectively than when they are taken orally—and they still prevent pregnancy.

This comes from the February 2007 issue of Self magazine. The article has to do with period cramps, so fair warning if you go look.

Of course you realize, this is getting uncomfortably close to Cartman's notion that if you shove food up your ass, you can crap out of your mouth.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Did I Mention I Joined A Cult?

Well, maybe not exactly a cult, but this funky group with the initials WW. What we learn in Weight Watchers is that we aren't on a diet, we're experiencing a lifestyle. It's a way of living, you see.

I know, I know, I would have crapped all over this thing, said it sounded stupid and all that. I would have said that there's no way I could stick to this diet, errr, lifestyle. I would not be satisfied with the food choices I would have to make. I would be hungry all the time.

Actually, that last point I couldn't really quibble with. When I lost 40 pounds a couple of years ago, and someone asked how I did it, my wise guy reply was that I made sure I went to bed hungry every night. It was an interesting plan, I must admit. I'd feel hungry around 10PM, but I'd ignore it and go to bed. I liked sleep too much, so I never got up early enough before work to eat anything. I was too lazy to make lunch the night before, and it just wasn't convenient to get lunch during the lunch break at work. And on the way home, I'd zip through the McDonald's drive thru and get four of those value menu double cheeseburgers. I'd eat those when I got home. Five or six hours later, around 10PM, I'd be feeling hungry again, but rather than eat anything, I'd just go to bed feeling slightly hungry. Repeat for 364 more days and I had lost 40 pounds. And I mean 364 days almost literally. Sure, there were Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter meals with the family. Maybe you could toss in another dozen or so non-holiday dinners with the folks. Add the occasional Weinerschnitzel coupon in the mailbox, and maybe I had 25 days when I didn't eat at McDonalds. It was a very weird time.

Back to Weight Watchers. It's ended up not being half as lame or retarded as I thought it might be. I'm at least off to a good start. Miss Tori says I am starting to look thinner, but no one else has said anything. Of course, Miss Tori has the advantage of seeing me naked (if you can call that an advantage!), so it may be easier for her to tell the difference. I'll have to let you know when I hear a comment from someone else.

The plan I decided to follow was the Flex Points plan. Every food is worth a certain amount of points for a certain quantity. You get a certain amount of points per day, and you eat whatever you want, as long as you match your allowed points. You aren't supposed to eat any less than you assigned points.

Why not? Well, according to the lifestyle, if you lose too much too fast, some of that lost weight is muscle, and your body reacts by taking every spare calorie it can get it's hands on and storing it in fat cells. You could end up losing muscle and gaining fat, even if you do lose a little bit of weight. I'm no doctor, and this is not medical advice, I'm just giving you a layman's translation.

So I've got these points, and now I have to figure out what to eat to add up to those points each day. Sounds like work, doesn't it?

It does take work, and without Miss Tori, this lifestyle would be a disaster for me, I promise you. Miss Tori helped me out with planning days and menus and all that. It may be possible to just go to your pantry and pull stuff out and be within your limits, but that's probably more work than planning your menus ahead of time. How do you plan a menu?

I started by thinking of things I like to eat (luckily, I don't have a wide ranging palate) and adding up the points. You'd be surprised by how quickly you get a feel for points, or at least, a feel for which foods are going to be beyond the limits. Yes, I could still have lasagna, but if I could only eat a 1"x2" square out of a whole pan, is it really worth the effort? Pasta and rice? High points. I figured out a few sandwiches, PB&J, tuna, turkey, all sandwiches I would usually eat, and figured how to work them in. Breakfast bar type things, cereal, all the regular stuff, just worked on in. But . . .

You do have to make some changes and substitutions. For example, I could get some sweet, chewy chocolate chip and peanut butter type breakfast bar and have high points. Instead, I searched for the bars that would have the least points. I tried them, and they were all right. I'm still eating them. I could get eggs. Instead, I got some "real egg product" which seems to be mainly egg whites and a little food coloring. You can't get sunny side up eggs out if it, but for scrambled eggs or omelets, I couldn't tell you the difference. For cereal, I had to cut the sugary stuff, but Special K is all right in one of the more health conscious varieties. I found some whole wheat bread that tastes good. Lean turkey bacon. This is all right, but you can definitely tell it's not real bacon. I honestly had hoped for more from that.

You get the idea. With the substitutions, most foods come within range and are acceptable. I think most things will not taste better than in the original version, but at the same time, most things will taste the same, or a little different but still good.

I have definitely been surprised at how much I am allowed to eat, and over the last few weeks, there have been a few times when I didn't feel hungry, but still had two or three or four points to go to make my daily total. Also, a few weeks into it, I almost don't even need to make a list for the store. I know what I need. I have a pretty good idea of how quickly I go through food. I've got a generally positive feeling about it all. We'll see if it holds up.

Oh yeah. I guess this wouldn't be complete without this: lost 8.7 after three weeks.

Friday, January 19, 2007


A Little Bit Of The Classics For You

Sure it's old. And yeah, 12+ million have watched it before me, but just in case you haven't heard it, let's see if I can put it up here. A little classical music to class up the joint:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


On The Other Hand . . .

Here's a report of increased performance when teachers got bonuses if students improved.

Thanks to Joanne Jacobs.

I honestly don't know what to think. Every bit of experience at my school tells me it is doomed, and yet things like this seem to be working elsewhere.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Shhhhh. Here's A Little Secret About Why Schools Fail.

It's not money. It's not lousy schools. It's what Mr. Lawrence writes about in this post.

Can the general decline in education really be the fault of the students, and through them, their parents?

Yes, it can.

Friday, January 05, 2007


The Holiday Vs. Rocky Balboa

We went to see two movies recently. The Holiday was one Miss Tori had been looking forward to for a while. I don't know if I was dying to see it, but she wanted to see it and I like Jack Black, so what the heck. Plus, I wanted to see Rocky Balboa, and I thought seeing this might help persuade Miss Tori to go to that.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am very pleasantly surprised to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by The Holiday, and Miss Tori was extremely surprised at how much she liked Rocky Balboa.

The Holiday is the story of two women who are unlucky in love. To get a little space and clear their heads, they end up trading houses for two weeks, with journalist Kate Winslett coming to Los Angeles and movie trailer maker Cameron Diaz going to the English countryside. Winslett's Iris has been hanging on to love for a man who has cheated on her, left her for another woman, and is now engaged to that woman. Somehow, Iris just can't let him go.

As Amanda, Diaz just wants to go somewhere without men, and Surrey sounds perfect, until Iris' brother stops by after a night at the pub to sleep it off at his sister's house. Meanwhile, Iris has met a score composer (Jack Black) who seems sweet, but is already in a relationship. She ends up devoting her time to a ninety year old screenwriter, learning about the old days in Hollywood and learning a little bit about what a classy guy, and true love, are all about. When Black's relationship goes sour, Iris finally gets a clear and objective look at what a doormat she's been for the past three years.

The film continues, back and forth across the Atlantic, with laughs and heartfelt moments along the way. If you're a "beautiful person" you probably won't appreciate this movie. If you're any kind of real human being who's encountered any of the ups and downs of love, this movie will resonate,and perhaps even bring a tear or two before it's all over. Read other reviews here.

And in this corner . . . Rocky Bal-Bo-a!

I'm going to the Patron's 60th birthday party tomorrow, and after hearing him ridicule the very idea of another Rocky movie, it is my personal mission to convince him to see it.

You may have heard that sequels are almost never as good as the originals. Yes, but not this time. You may have heard that after Rocky II, it all went downhill. Yes, but not this time. You may have heard that Stallone couldn't act his way out of a community theater. Yes, but not this time. You may have heard that this could be the surprise movie of the year. Yes.

In this movie, Rocky has gotten older. His son is in his twenties, working at some finance type job and a little sick of the old man's shadow following him everywhere he goes in Philadelphia. Rocky is running a restaraunt called Adrian's, in honor of his now deceased wife, and he is haunted by her memory. Paulie, well, he's still Paulie, crusty as ever and guilty about how he treated Adrian. We also meet Marie, a woman who met Rocky once when she was a little girl. She's had a hard life and is raising a teenage son on her own.

The boxing? Forget it. That's just the scenery. You're watching a movie about human relationships, how people deal with loss and hurt and pain. Yes there is a big fight at the end, but the outcome of the fight is secondary to the lessons of the film.

This film is also family friendly. The violence is minimal, especially by today's standards, and even the boxing scenes are cut to minimize any graphic imagery. Believe it or not, you might shed a tear or two when you see this one as well. Read other reviews here.

At the end, this review is a split decision. If you have to choose only one of these movies, the slight edge has to go to Rocky Balboa.

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