Category Archives: Health

Sure, the job looks great now, but it’s 8 years of school


 

First thought:  This woman must have a lot of pajamas.

Second thought:  I’ve always wanted to lie around for a living.  Starting my own franchise and catering to the ladies could be my only chance!  Although, I’d probably get more cat clients than lady clients, and everyone knows cats are terrible tippers.
Or, I’d probably face years of pro-bon0 work with the underprivileged and under-cuddled.  I guess you have to start somewhere though, you know, to get your foot in the cuddle door.

Link to news story

Link to the Snuggery itself, where you can read about Jacqueline’s goal “to make the world a gentler place, one snuggle at a time,” or you can peruse the FAQ section in order to satisfy what I imagine is a pretty obvious curiosity about what happens when a penis gets the wrong idea about all this snuggling.

 

 

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Filed under Health, Humor, Sleeping

Diagnosis: Blog

I am no doctor, and the results are far from conclusive, but all my current research indicates that a fierce regimen of naps coupled with reading and eating ice cream in the bathtub can cure a cold and sore throat.

If conditions return, a further prescription will be to lounge listlessly on my patio while enjoying a paired dosing of the setting sun and a cough syrup popsicle.

I probably should have made a Belgian waffle sandwich, but I didn’t think of it until now.  Oh well.  Science is all trial and error, I guess.

Chance of complete restoration of health and vigor?  85%

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Filed under Food, Health, Humor

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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(Van) Damming Up Whiskey River, or, the Truths Revealed by House Party 2: The Pajama Jam

The 290 West exit off of South I-35.

That’s a shot of Jean Claude Van Damme playing yours truly in a biopic about what I’ve been up to lately.  Namely, growing out a greasy mullet and toting handguns while practicing gnarly motorcycle tricks on highway overpasses.  Also, my knees have begun to emit steam.  You know, typical macho bullshit.

Let’s take a look in the ol’ reader mailbag, shall we?

Dear Fat Fingers Justice,

Did you know that if I Google “Sam Elliot Mustache,” the Fat Fingers of Justice is the ninth image result?

Sincerely,

Sam Elliott

P.S. Call my agent asap!  I just finished your script, the Old West period piece, and I’d be honored to play the mysterious, widower sheriff who dispenses folky wisdom and hides a revolver in his mustache.  My current stint as the voice of Smokey Bear is a decent gig, but there’s only so much nuance with which you can deliver “Only you can prevent forest fires.”  And the lack of character depth is very frustrating.  I mean, did his parents die in a fire?  The love of his life?  Does he have survivor’s guilt?  Let’s just say the U.S. Forest Service’s marketing team isn’t the creative epicenter I’d been promised. 

P.P.S.  How is Smoky Bear totally not a gay icon?  I mean, c’mon, look at that fucking bear.  Ah, but I ramble.

YES, I do, legendary actor Sam Elliot.  WordPress is very informative in terms of helping me manage and finely curate my surely-at-any-moment-award-winning content.  ‎”Sam Elliot Mustache” is among the top five search engine terms that lead to my site. The others?  “Bee gees hairy,” “porcelain cats,” “truck nuts,” and last but not the least insulting, “fat man with beard.”

Fuck you, too, Google search matrix.  You could put down the hoagie and run your ass around the block a few times yourself.

But I know it’s just tough love.  You see, as recently as two years ago, friends and foes alike were asking, “Fat Fingers, how do you always seem to be in peak physical condition?  Your mental agility and acuity is rivaled only by your rippling musculature.”

Others would add, not incorrectly, “If polished stones of various shapes and sizes were to achieve consciousness and quickly evolve cooperative abilities, they would hold a brief meeting and unanimously decide to combine to form the perfect rock-hard body – your body.”  (They would also make a truly horrifying and unstoppable rock army that I only hope could be reasoned with.  But none of my appreciators considered that rock army situation, as they were too full of lusty thoughts to think it through.)

Ex-girlfriends would sell semi-nude photos of me to pay off their student loan debts.  Unsurprisingly, the images received nearly universal, vaginal acclaim.

But surprise, surprise – experiment with alcoholism for a few years, come down with a chronic case of taco-itis, and almost literally forget how to exercise, and the results are not good.  Other than a solid beard and decent shoulders, I’m pretty much a “Before” picture waiting for a makeover.  I’m the left side of the screen when visually breaking down pre- and post-ownership of a Bowflex.

The only peak condition I’ve found myself in recently is peak drinking condition.  And maybe peak sandwich hunting condition.  I’m often found valiantly thinning the overpopulated sandwich herds in the deli savanna.

Unfortunately, those shirtless photos have proven to be slightly less lucrative.

So, perhaps it’s time to cut back on drinking and eating with the gusto of the condemned.  It’s time the Fat Fingers took hold of a healthier lifestyle.  I never intended the Fat Fingers to be literal.  Corpulent appendages were not the goal here. (Editor’s Note: “What was?”  Me:  “Shut up, Editor.”)  I fear getting to a point where I find  myself getting winded making a sandwich.  Or breaking a sweat getting dressed, because then you’re clothes are all sweated-up, but you can’t just change shirts, because then that second shirt would be all gross, too.  Man, life is tough on the lazy.

So, enough of the whiskey coke floats and waffle grilled cheese sandwiches.  Enough of the buttered cigars, the chocolate-covered curly fries, and even my favorite cheesy broccoli recipe – 4 parts cheese, no parts broccoli.

However, perhaps worse than the physical toll the booze and poor diet takes, is the mental.  My brain is just a bag of gin-thinned chowder and crushed, mushy saltines.  And my memory, oh lord my memory.

A recent experience solidified this concern.  While perusing Netflix’s suggested films, I discovered that the website’s “Best Guess” for my rating of “House Party 2:  The Pajama Jam” was 3.0 stars.

How could Netflix believe I would like House Party 2 more than I wouldn’t like it?  How had this happened?  Netflix, you’re supposed to know me.  Who am I?  How have my life’s choices and beliefs led me to this misunderstanding?

Even more unsettling than that, however, was discovering that on March 8th I apparently watched 22 minutes of it.  I don’t remember this, and I don’t think it’s a subconscious attempt at saving any brain space for more important things, like famous cat trivia.  It was because one lonely night I’d been drunk enough to think it was a good idea to watch it.  Not coincidentally, that level of drunkenness is also the level at which you kill the brain cells required to remember making such a decision.

I watched part of it today as research for this blog, and in case you didn’t know, House Party 2 isn’t very good.  Should I have watched the original House Party first?  Would that have helped?

Clearly, I need to get my mind right. I need to do some soul – and liver – searching.

Beyond the lapses in memory, I noticed my social skills have suffered.  My brain needs to be exercised in ways other than laps in the liquor pool, because my conversation skills have withered horribly.

It’s never good when all I can think of to say on a date is, “Did you know my roommate’s cat can fart as loud as a person?” and then raise my eyebrows like, “Pretty amazing, huh?”  While that may be true, it’s not a great conversation piece.  (But stay tuned for a 3-part startling expose on feline digestive issues in the coming weeks.  By God, Cat Fancy’s finally going to get that Pulitzer.)

Other times, I may share too much, too soon:

“I combed my beard, and a fly fell out.”

“Ew, gross.”

“Oh, settle down.  It was still alive.”

It’s a shame, really.  Because all that conversational ineptitude comes just after I’d discovered a failsafe way to ask someone out – “Would you like to eat dinner and have drinks and consider engaging in a short to long term power struggle with me?”  Guaranteed to work on that cute cynic you’ve been eyeing!

I decided I better get my shit in gear, better get myself in some better health before my heart or liver or both decide to mutiny and leave in the middle of the night, replacing themselves with papier-mâché replicas.

My goal, perhaps rather ambitious, is not to have a single drink for two weeks, then filter in the weekend-only drinking.  I will also cook more meals at home instead of continuing construction on a delivery tube between my bed and the taco truck behind my house.

I’ll let you know how that works out, considering this bottle of whiskey throwing itself at me.

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Filed under Drinking, Food, Health, Humor