Monthly Archives: August 2012

I Tried Writing a Blog about Inertia, but it Didn’t Seem to be Going Anywhere. Or, the Physics of Pancakes

Inertia is an object’s resistance to a change in its state of motion or rest.  In other words:  Not moving?  Not going to.  Not until said object is acted upon by an external force.

Or, in my case, I’m not getting out of bed until I smell breakfast.

Unfortunately, unless I slept through a rapid evolution in batter consciousness, I don’t imagine aspiring pancakes have lifted themselves up by their baking powder bootstraps and valiantly thrown themselves onto a hot griddle in martyrdom to my growling belly.

Which leads me to only one conclusion:  I must make or, god forbid, forage for said pancakes.

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” – The poet William Blake, blabbering on about pancakes, as usual

Oooh, but inertia is a damnable foe!  It overwhelms me from every angle.  Instead, I believe I will toss and turn in bed, consumed by dreams of a full-service pancake delivery business existing near my home.

While necessity may be the mother of invention, laziness is the doting father of pipe dreams.

By full-service, I mean they wouldn’t simply deliver pancakes to my front door.  Heavens no, this would be delivery to my room, my bed, my mouth.  The buttering, the application of syrup – these things would be covered.  And, unless I’m going for that breakfast-y musk that the makes the ladies swoon in waves, a thorough post-meal wet-nap scrub of the ol’ face whiskers would also be included.

Before I forget, there would certainly be an understanding, even an expectation, of the customer’s/my near-nudity.  Pants are a horrible burden, (See:  The Tyranny of Breeches, my controversial treatise on these cotton and denim shackles) the very mention of which is strictly verboten.  After the meal, I’ll draw the dignity line at burping me like a baby.  A dotted line.

Imagine!  There could be a van with heating bins to keep the food warm, and in case a craving for eggs struck unannounced, it could contain a griddle in order to make them on the spot.

Don’t even get me started on the syrup caddies.  Mostly because I don’t even know what I mean by that, other than large, wheeled jugs of every imaginable syrup flavor:  maple, bacon-flavored maple, blueberry, bacon-flavored blueberry, traditional baconberry, boysenberry, bourbonberry, etc., and that’s just the B’s.  An entire alphabet of syrups could deliver a lexicon of flavors.

If you added Bloody Mary’s and carafes of mimosas to the menu, I’m thinking this pipe dream becomes an unstoppable commercial juggernaut.

The only foreseeable and pretty obvious downside would be to increase inertness.  After a pancake pampering, a buffet of syrups, a scrambled egg side, and a Bloody Mary chaser, the human body would be a breakfast-stuffed object stubbornly resisting a change in its state of immobility.

Regardless, I’m ready for such a service, and I eagerly anticipate the free market’s response to this consumer’s need.  Entrepreneurs, please make it happen for us inert, breakfast-loving dreamers .

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Filed under Food, Humor, Uncategorized

La-Z-Boy Recliner & Cat Limited Edition BARGAIN

Craigslist Link

Let’s cut to the chase with this one.  A cat, Dottie (pictured below), urinated in the seat of this La-Z-Boy.

Dottie: Not only pees like she drank a 40oz, but can also fart as loud as a person! A mere sampling from her incomparable repertoire of cuteness!

Still reading?  Good for you.  Anyway, I’ve spent at least an hour spraying, scrubbing, and FeBreezing the affected area.  I even experimented with an elaborate, spell-like string of profanities in the hopes that it would smell like nothing but sunshine and dreams, but can you imagine, it just smells like cat pee and Yumberry Sangria Febreeze.

It really only smells that way when your face is about 6 inches away from the seat, and besides, what kind of weirdo goes around smelling recliner seats?  Perverts, that’s who.

I like to imagine that the cat was so relaxed while enjoying this super plush, fully-functioning recliner, that it reached a level of comfort so transcendent, that it nearly approached death, and its bladder ceased to function.  Its body released urine as a survival mechanism to bring its little kitty soul back to earth so it could live to pee and purr another day.

So, why not be so comfortable that you risk incontinence?  Huh?  Huh?  Can you, in all good conscience, resist such a pitch?  And if you and your friends and family aren’t a bunch of seat-smelling perverts, what’s the downside?  You’re not a pervert, are you?  PROVE IT BY BUYING THIS CHAIR.

I mean, c’mon, chairs aren’t for smelling, anyway. They’re for sitting. And this can hold your ass with the best of ’em, so stop being so nose-curious and take ‘er easy.

And, get a load of this!  The price?  A mere $25.  But wait for it – are you sitting down?  (Probably not, because you don’t have this awesome chair) I’ll even throw in the cat for an extra $5!

YOU READ THAT RIGHT.  $25 for a La-Z-Boy, OR, $30 for this LIMITED EDITION La-Z-Boy/Cat set!  What a bargain!  (Or best offer.)

Email me for directions. We’re conveniently located right off of 35, not too far from Franklin’s BBQ.  Dottie and I eagerly anticipate your response.

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Filed under Austin, Cats, Humor, Personal

My Deciduous Loveseat, Or, A Loveseat for the Nap Connoisseur – $100 (east Austin, near downtown)

If you are a true nap and lounge enthusiast, this is the loveseat of your dreams! With its award-winning comfort and internationally-renowned softness, the loveseat and its forest green material will lull you into the sweetest dreams of stunning, tree-filled vistas, where you will frolic with abandon among such majestic creatures as the Yellow-throated Warbler, the Great Horned Owl, and if you’re really lucky, perchance that cutest of God’s wonders, the Black-capped Chickadee. Dreams of zip-lining over water in a race with a Southern Flying Squirrel have also been reported by multiple nappers.

The sheer merriment of the adventures dreamed while lounging and sleeping on this loveseat will be surpassed only by your well-rested, refreshed and invigorated mind and body, allowing you to get up, wipe the sleep from your eyes, and tackle a very real, and very challenging forest adventure. Or, you could make a very real sandwich. Either way.

We would keep it, but we don’t have enough space in our new apartment, and we’re kind of transitioning to a tundra theme, anyway.

Email me for directions. Conveniently located right off of 35, not too far from Franklin’s BBQ. We and the Tufted Titmice of your deepest REM sleep eagerly anticipate your response.

My Deciduous Loveseat

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Filed under Austin, Humor, Personal

Four Years of the Incredible Shrinking Brain

Have you ever walked into a different room of your home, stopped, and suddenly realized you don’t remember why you walked into that room?  Maybe it’s the kitchen, and you’re standing in front of the open refrigerator, beer and milk and butter staring back, and you think, “What was I just doing?”

What about standing in front of the refrigerator and thinking, “What was I just doing…for four years?”

I’m not in front of a refrigerator, but in a coffeehouse in Austin, TX, and in three days I will turn twenty-nine years old.  I moved to Austin on my twenty-fifth birthday, and looking back, this latter half of twenty has possessed an unimaginable momentum, a speed proportional to gained years, but a mindboggling speed nonetheless.

English poet and essayist Charles Lamb once wrote, “The young man till thirty never feels practically that he is mortal.”

Which is to say:  Yay!  This feeling of immortality has life left in it yet!  368 more days of mindless, unbound, electric youth!  I can swig booze and maraud the midnight streets with immunity, engage in jittery fistfights with the sunrise after an all-night coffee and writing binge, digest entire taco stand inventories with nary a spark of heartburn, and swagger beard-first through Ladytown like I’m the muscled mayor of their every fantasy.

But let’s be honest with ourselves here.  The last four years have been a gradual slipping, an encroaching entropy.  Thirty won’t be a flipped light switch that plunges me into darkness, where I’m alone in a room and staring at projections of arthritis and memory loss on the wall.  It’s more of a dimmer switch, with age-related susceptibilities slowly coming into focus, ears gradually tuning to the frequencies of recommended prostate exams.  (How exactly does one reconcile rectal realities?  Does alliteration distract enough from the probing physician?  Let’s heartily hope so.)

At this point in the blog, those already into their 30s, 40s, and beyond are surely muttering, “Oh, woe is you.  Weep for your dying youth,” and not without a merited sarcasm.  But, allow me my pity party.  I already suffer the pains of my greatest gustatory loves, pizza and coffee.  The heartburn, or possibly serious acid reflux, eats away my insides; flames lacerate their way up into my chest and into the bottom of my throat.  I love pizza and a mean caffeine buzz, and I’d like to imagine myself bravely marching from barista to pie-maker and back again for decades, but that march will likely come with a bandoleer of Rolaids and a Maalox mustache.

Oh, and these coffeehouse girls, obvious undergrads increasingly too young for me.  I overhear them studying biology, words like “eukaryotic” and “mitochondrian” affirmed by their partners as right answers.  They multi-task with a mental bandwidth that’s panoramic and fluid – studying cell structure from a textbook while playing music from their laptops while sending texts while Instagramming their entire coffee table tableaux.

As their biology terms mix with descriptions of boys in their class, I go into a haze of half-listening, and I begin to dwell on biological facts of a more depressing and personal nature:

The brain peaks in size at 25, after which it begins to shrink, lose weight, and fill with fluid. 

The heart continually becomes a less efficient pumping machine.  Joint function steadily declines.  The lungs become less elastic; you can’t fill them as full or empty them as completely of stale air. 

You simply can’t take in as much of the world, and you can’t let go of that you’ve absorbed.   

I may need something stronger than an iced coffee.  Something with whiskey.  Maybe nothing with whiskey, just whiskey.  And yet, even my capacity for drinking seems diminished.  I’m reminded of a recent, embarrassing memory:

The scene opens to tunnel vision, with fuzzy edges around a too-slowly-receding perimeter.   I see pale, fuzzy knees sticking out of shorts, and the depth of field shifts allowing me to see flip-flop covered feet around the same time I feel them splattered in vomit. 

Localization is gradually determined:  this planet, this state, this city, this patio, this lawn chair, this hunched over body.

Those puke-covered feet. 

My feet. 

I’m on the rug-covered patio belonging to people I’ve only recently met.  The friend who brought me here is missing.  In fact, I’m alone – the only person filling a chair in a circle of chairs previously populated.  It’s dark except for the light of two mosquito-repelling candles.

I’ve either just woken myself up vomiting, or I woke up just in time to vomit.  I’m not sure which one is more ridiculous, but I am sure contemplating the distinction isn’t going to make this any easier to explain.  So, when I find my friend in the kitchen, I don’t.  I just suggest we bail, and I end up passing out on her living room floor next to her cat. 

I never once, through high school or college, was the person who threw up in a socially unsanctioned location.  “How does someone just puke like that?” I used to indignantly wonder.  I wish I hadn’t found the answer.  Blackout puking is for the young.  I mean, I have dental insurance – I’m too old for this shit.

I need a bagel or a muffin or a –

With age, muscle mass declines, metabolic rate slows, and caloric intake should be subsequently reduced.    

Ugh.  I should probably get out of this coffeehouse and go for a walk.  Do I have the right shoes for it?  I should probably stretch first.  Can I even touch my toes anymore?   It’s dark out; I should wait til daytime.  But it’s so hot all the time.  Maybe go to a gym instead, with air conditioning and treadmills.  They have TVs in there.  I could make a running playlist to encourage me.  Yeah, that sounds good.  I’ll start on my birthday.  Yeah.  Research for a few days, build that high-energy playlist.  Start walking, then jogging.  Maybe even look into yoga classes.

Exercise is known to help brain function.  Perhaps I can hinder or offset the shrinking of my brain.

That way, maybe I’ll have a better answer when I’m 30 and in front of the open refrigerator, staring back at prune juice and almond milk and light margarine, and asking, “What was I just doing…for five years?”

But right now I just remembered I wanted a chocolate chip, banana bread muffin.  And I should probably go ahead and pop an antacid before things get carried away.

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Filed under Drinking, Health, Humor