Does this beard make me look fat

Friday, April 29, 2011

And how did that make you feel: 50 ways to prepare chicken and my aborted MMA career

Hello dear constituents, tribal members and pushers. It's been a bit since the last Bearded blurb, but "the shits been heavy", so there's been a lull here at Bearded Inc. But as the mighty Ween says "I'm coming back, so don't give me no slack".

Sometime around the Spring of 2007, I came to the conclusion that I needed to enter therapy as I had begun entertaining the idea that true happiness was only attainable through the participation in cage fights, televised or not. This was more or less the end result of the mental degradation I had been experiencing after my dad had gotten into a debilitating motorcycle accident and I had come to a point where I wasn't quite ready to pick up an axe and proclaim "Here's Johnny", nor was I ready to go count cards at Caesar's Palace with Tom Cruise while waxing poetic about the virtues of K-Marts underwear. I guess I had just bottomed out mentally and I remembered how a friend of mine from high school had told me that he had an accident after high school in which he suffered a blow to the head that drastically altered his personality. So I reckoned, if a blow to the head worked for that guy, then surely I could reap the rewards of a series of cranial blows.

Having never been in a fight, I knew I'd have to enroll in Ass Kicking 101 somewhere, so I decided to call my friend Chris and ask him if I could fight him on his day off. He had every right to ask me what he had done to have me want to fight him, and rightfully so. I just told him I needed him to lay me out, which he say he'd be more than happy to do, just not on work nights. Eventually Chris informed me that he couldn't bring himself to "light me up" as we were friends and asked me why I needed someone to lay me out. I told him I had seen a MMA fight and it seemed like those guys took an impressive amount of shots to the head and that's probably what I needed. He said if I put my mind towards having sex with more women and maybe drank a little bit, I'd be a new man. I told him I hardly believed that. I then found myself with all the gear one needs to get into fighting other individuals seeking both a bludgeoning and cauliflower ear (namely head gear, a mouth piece, and those gloves that have the fingers cut off that tell you the guy that wears them gives people speech impediments by trade) but no sparring partner who would acknowledge my girlie calls of "Uncle, Uncle, UNCLE!!!!!" when the pain was more than a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

The absurdity of seeking out someone to knock me out eventually registered in my mind and I then headed for the therapists office. The therapist I ended up with was an affable guy named Roger, who was fueled by Jesus and worked for the state. The thing that immediately struck me was that apparently none of the money that was being made through appointments was being allocated for building maintenance for while I would wait for my session, I could hear other peoples grievances being aired through the walls that were severely lacking in the insulation that would have prevented me from hearing dysfunctional tales laden with infidelity, yearns for divorce, yearns for love, hell even yearns for someone to want them around. Truth be told, I felt better simply by overhearing what other people were contending with, and by the time I was seen I'd have settled for a milkshake and a lap dance to bring me to my state of bliss. To be honest, probably just the milkshake. Something saddens me about girls dancing to Motley Crue songs to make their way through life. Even if they danced to music I actually do like say, a Jesus and Mary Chain or the Clash's London Calling, I'd still settle for a well made sandwich over a girl shaking her money maker to a Whitesnake song.

So I went through dozens of sessions with Roger, over the course of which I started to detect a hint of LDS-ness emanating from Roger. I guess it was his predilection for Utah combined with his uber-religiousness that led me to believe he was once held a missionary position (not THAT missionary position, sicko.) You know, white shirt, black tie, cheap bike, ill-placed in North Las Vegas all pounding the pavement to spread the word of the lord. I can respect that. I can't get behind the anti-gay sentiments, but I can respect their audacity to pedal their way into unsavory locales such as Northeast Las Vegas expecting to convert and dodge bullets.

One day Roger and I got into a discussion about marriage. He said he's never been happier since he's been married. I told him I always thought marriage was tantamount to eating baloney for the rest of your life. I don't mean to single out the meat shrouded in mystery that is baloney, it was the first thing I thought of at the time. Roger then says "Well, you like chicken, don't you? I said I did in fact love chicken. He said "well, could you see yourself eating chicken for the rest of your life?" I said while I love chicken, I also love prosciutto. He said I was losing sight of the point. He regrouped his food based marital bliss analogy and said "You know Luke, there's lots of ways to prepare chicken." That sent my mind reeling. He had reduced many a man's fear of commitment to a simple shortsightedness in the myriad ways to prepare poultry. And he left things at that, a statement about being satisfied to be with what you know, albeit steeped in poultry preparation, but he was right.

Inevitably therapists have to cut you loose as insurance companies can't rationalize footing the bill for two men to converse about areas of the countries with houses with big porches and such. And it feels as inherently awkward as all classic "dumpings" go. Everyone gets dumped once in their life, I've had my fair share. But this dumping was different. I was dumped because I more or less normalized and had depleted my cache of nutty things to say to Roger. But the funny thing is, he dumped me just like someone you were in a relationship does. "You know Luke,, this is difficult. This is always the hardest part. (I had heard variations of what was around the bend, so I started to think about whether I had loaned Roger any money or cd's I might be wanting back). You know, I like talking to you. But the logicality of us continuing to meet isn't there. I think you're relatively normal at this point, so I'd say your treatment has concluded. But I'd still like to be friends." My butt. Who remains friends after a breakup? So I said I'd like that, paid my dues on the way out and that was that. I never did learn how to hold my own in a cage fight, but I learned how to appreciate your chicken. And for a delicate man like myself, that's probably better.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sweating the edge off or questioning the Diet Coke

I got into an accident recently and subsequently had to go to the doctor. The nurse that took my vitals told me to step on a scale and per my standard practice, I emptied my pockets (reasoning that the contents could push my weight reading from "Huh." to "Oh hell no", then I stepped on the scale. The scale read 199 lbs. Holy moly, I thought, a wardrobe composed entirely of sweat pants surely lay right around the corner. Doctors call my weight gain a result of "age weight". Saying it just comes with the 30 something territory. I sat there looking at the digits on the scale and thought to myself "who had double crossed me?"

Was it the ice cream? Was it all that pizza I ate? Was it the deceptively healthy whole wheat pasta? I suppose it was a conspiratorial effort aimed at the expansion project that is my waistline. And the real kick in the ass is that I go to the gym and yet, despite all those miles on the treadmill, all those pop videos that seared my retinas, all the ill fitting spandex, all the triangular shaped men, here I was. A fatty in the making, destined to take my place in life's grand tailgate.

And about the gym. Its a strange crossroads for someone like myself to find themselves in in that I watch everything as if it were an ant farm. I can't hear the din of the gym from underneath my headphones cranked up to tinnitus. Its better that way. If you watch all news stations or pop videos without the sound, you can fill in the blanks and take away something more meaningful than 3 wealthy politicians (in all honesty, they're just professional wrestlers in less spandex. But do you want to see Biden, or Bush or Pelosi in spandex? Would they fill it out accordingly? ) arguing over minute details pertaining to a scenario they have dubious interests invested in but the exchange is designed to present the facade that any of these three actually give a shit about you. When they don't.

Or the pop videos where its mostly just a beautiful girl singing a song with a beat, some hooks, some auto tune and generous helping of pelvic thrusts. What choo talkin' bout pelvic thrusts? Well, I think it was NASA that came up with the equation that states that the number of pelvic thrusts in a pop video exists in direct proportion to the level of mediocrity of the song depicted in said video. If the song is truly the aural equivalent of a bowel movement in your ear hole, the number of pelvic thrusts required to generate interest increases exponentially.

Sometimes I see Siegfried and Roy at the gym and sometimes I even work out near them. I sit there working out looking at both of them, wondering if they ever foresaw a day when that tiger would exact redemption for all those fiery hoops it jumped through, all the gold lamé it had to wear, all those weekends it had to work double or triple shifts when all it wanted to do was luxuriate and lick itself.

And the takeaway is right now someones enjoying a baconator with a large fry, and a diet Coke (question, you've already ingested a pile driver to the heart. Why soften the blow with diet coke? ) and they're content. They've acknowledged the fleeting nature and guarantee-less premise of life and have super sized it. I've seen the articles about fried oreos and it just seems like the thing to do if all else has failed you. And maybe that's my calling in life. To try everything I've never tried as an adherence to a code that dictates that if I gorged myself silly of fried twinkies I'd one day wake up only to look down and see that I had lost site of the nether regions. And it'll happen. The belly gets so big it'll obscure the goods from the upwards view, or in more severe instances, it develops into a fanny pack of sorts. But thing about getting fat is, once you're past the point where people say "hey buddy, looks like you're gaining a little" and you enter a new day and age of wearing strictly moomoo's and enjoying the preferred parking that comes with being that size, it opens up a lot of doors. Competitive eating, fat, funny next door neighbor in a sitcom....that's about all I can think of.

What am I getting at, sisters and brothers? Hell if i know. Like I mentioned before, I was rear ended and now my back is aching and I'm heavier than I ever was. The doctor that saw me was wearing a yamaka, and had a huge beard that was jet black the last time someone rear ended me (2008) but now was more salt than pepper. He told me I had " very bad posture". His graying beard reminded me that it's a finite life kiddies, so get out there and grab the bull by the horns. Out lift one, no both of those tiger tamers at the gym and if the mood strikes you, order a deep fried chocolate chip cookie burger (oh yes they do exist) cause life is short but sweet for certain.

Damn you age weight, LMF