Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 can suck it

Yeah, that's right. I know I'm not alone in this. I know that this year my blog posts have attained the rarity of Haley's Comet, but I felt I needed to give 2011 one last great big verbal middle finger.

How am I gonna do that? By not talking about 2011.

I thought it would be more fun to move forward and share my list of resolutions for the new year, because I've decided this year will be the year of Merissa.

Resolutions for 2012: failure not an option on these, so buckle up.

#1 Lose 15 lbs.
Ok, ok I know what you're thinking….this is EVERYBODY'S resolution, every year, always. The thing is, I don't have a lot of trophy years left and I need to be able to make the best of 2012 by showing as much non-muffin-top skin as possible.

#2 Write a zombie-themed cookbook.
I feel this is a relatively untapped market. Why not combine my love of baking with my love of the decaying undead? It makes perfect sense to me…and I have a few ideas involving raspberry jam….

#3 Get a tan.
There has to be a way for me to do this. I'm sick of camera flashes reflecting off my face, making me look like a white pancake with eyes. I also have accepted that waiting for my freckles to connect is something I should completely give up on.

#4 Punch Katy Perry in the face.
I don't need to explain this one, and you know you want in on it. She's the only one who's heard that damn "Firework" song more than we have and she still thinks she's hot shit.

#5 Go to Pawn Stars.
Every time I watch that show I start wandering around my apartment looking for treasure. So far I have unearthed no Civil War firearms or Faberge brooches, but I remain optimistic. I did find a bugle in my closet that I predict to be worth almost $7. Also, I'd like to have a grouch-off with the Old Man.

#6 Read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Dude. Maybe the 3rd try is the charm. Reading that book is the mental equivalent of running through 3 feet of mud….but I can't let it beat me….not in 2012, bitch.

#7 Assemble those IKEA shelves I bought 2 years ago.
If you're laughing at this one, I dare you to come put these things together. I double dog dare you.

#8 Not get pregnant.
This is my standby resolution every year. In fact, I pop a couple of extra birth control pills into my mouth like tic-tacs every time I'm around someones screaming/wiggling/leaking bundle of joy. Also, I've corked my vagina. No tiny gingers for me (at least right now) thanks. I can't even keep a plant alive...

#9 Gain control of an army of Zombie minions.
It's best if you don't ask me why on this one…really better if you don't know.

#10 Get a tattoo.
I was gonna get a dragon, but I hear some other bitch did that already.

So that's my 2012 plan. Notice I didn't put any lame crap like "be more patient with my mother" or "stop putting peanut butter under my neighbor's doorknob" because let's face it, that junk just won't happen.

No matter what happened in 2011, I have a lot of hope that 2012 will be better. I'm sure there will be high points and low ones, but as long as I get to punch Katy Perry and control a horde of zombie minions I should be just fine.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I don't know what percent I am

I'm feeling a little lost these days, and I know I'm not alone. A few weeks ago, I was informed that my job was being cut and as of Oct 28 I would become one of too many educated, hard-working Americans who are jobless. It was like being punched in the stomach.

So that day, what did I do? I activated my network of friends and professionals. I ran searches and asked everyone I knew to keep an eye out for positions I'd be interested in. I was active from the minute I could pull myself together. Finding a job right now is hard, but not impossible. It takes a ton of work. It takes diligence and it takes hope...and you know what? I was able to find things and get interviews. Ultimately there was a job for me before that deadly October 28 date arrived. Yes, I realize I was lucky, but I also worked very hard to find a job. I ended up with options.

Right now, a lot of people don't have options. Greed has taken over our country and crashed us into economic disaster. The job I had held for almost 8 years was a casualty, as well as the jobs of so many people in this country who have been laid off.

It's frustrating to see the state things are in. I find this Occupy movement frustrating too, and let me tell you why.

99% is a big number. Within that, there are people like me, who work and do what we can to make enough to survive. We fight for every cent in our pockets by working hard, gaining professional respect and making a name for ourselves...and when God forbid we're a victim of a layoff, we'll be able to find something else. We're frustrated by who has the power and the money (and by what has caused our economic downturn), but ultimately we fight to take care of ourselves in the best way we know how. We try desperately to make credit card payments and cut costs on living expenses whenever we can.

Also within the 99% are people like my parents. They have secure jobs, mortgages and take care of elderly relatives. Sure, their combined incomes allow them to be comfortable, but only if they watch spending and save for things like vacations or new furniture. They drive Hondas, not BMWs. They have a modest amount of debt. They aren't rich, but don't worry too much about money or losing their jobs.

Some people in the 99% have been unjustly evicted from their homes by banks. Some are stuck in a swirling vortex of debt that they can't get out of because of credit card rates, excessive loans, etc. There are single parents struggling with raising children and making ends meet.

For sure, much of what is happening in our economy is affecting those of us who can afford it the least, to all sorts of different degrees.

For everyone in this 99%, there is something about this economy effecting us that sucks.

But at Occupy, all i see is a bunch of the same type of people. I see a display of twentysomethings who look like they have rolled in dirt and smell awful. So I ask these kids, what if it works? What if your section of the 99% is heard and changes happen that herald an economic upturn? Do you really think you can put "Occupy Wall Street drum circle" on a resume?

Yes, the system needs to change in order for things to get better. We all know that. We all know the economy is in the shitter right now, with very little upward movement.

I think the heart of this movement is in the absolute right place, but I think the marketing stinks. If you want to facilitate change, speak the language of those you're trying to get through to. Recognize that the well-dressed broker you're shouting at as he exits the building has probably worked very hard to be where he is, and may be a part of the 99% himself.

I think Occupiers need to pick a new percentage. Those masses of campers are no more put-upon than the rest of us. The difference is that they think causing a ruckus instead of working hard and trying to improve their own situation will somehow facilitate change. Even if things improve economically, things like student loan debt don't go away unless you pay them off. In fact, things won't improve economically unless we, the 99% make it so by showing initiative, working, surviving, and slowly climbing out.

99% covers a lot of Americans. Some of us are motivated to survive. Struggling is a part of life - we shouldn't protest it, we should learn from it and work harder to be better. No country or set of rules or ideals is perfect. Don't expect it to be. Embrace what you can all do to make your own situation better. If everyone does that, good things will come for the country as a whole. There are a lot of good things about living in America. Freedom of speech is one of them. I would never disagree with a person's right to protest, but all I see in these demonstrations is a lost group of people who are asking the right questions but not listening for answers, some of which could come from themselves.

Because ultimately, out of everyone in this world, you have the most influence over yourself.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just a quickie

The other day I received some startling news: Louis Vuitton has added condoms to their fall line-up. This is not a joke people. If you are horny and rich, this is the safe sex you always dreamed of.

Prepare to cash in what's left of your 401K, because these condoms cost $68 apiece. $68!?!?! Are you kidding me? I'm sure there's a joke about inflation in there somewhere....

Is there an optional shoulder strap?

Um, what recession?

I suppose you wear one of these bad boys when you don't want to come, you want to arrive, right? I bet Kanye has one on right now just for the hell of it, with a woman's blouse or something.

$68 eh? It seems like they were off on their price point by one dollar....or maybe it's $68 and one to grow on.....

...Or you can man up and go get a box of Trojans, instead of blowing your wad on one condom. Maybe she's gonna want to have sex more than once - and trust me, washing and reusing is not an option no matter what you paid.

So don't be the guy who can't rise to the occasion because he has buyers remorse.

OK I'm done here. These puns are making my face hurt. I will leave you with the only thing I possibly can to wrap this up:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Party time

Lately I've learned a lot about "you can't go back". I've learned there's no such thing as no regrets, and I've learned that nothing comes at me that I can't handle, one way or another.

Today is the last day of my 20s. It's strange, but when I say it like that I'm glad to leave this decade behind me. I think the 20s are just a long bridge you have to cross to get from childhood to adulthood. I feel like there is a stigma on 30. Like I need to be offended from now on when someone asks my age. I need to go buy a multivitamin with a silver label and I need to start flossing. My lady lumps are gonna start drooping if I don't hit the gym every damn day…

But rest assured, you will NEVER see me shopping at Coldwater Creek or Talbots. You can put a sweater set on my cold, dead body.

There's something awesome about starting a decade that doesn't involve college or first jobs or living with my parents. Jager bombs are no longer a part of my life. Ever. I'm 30 now, bitches. I know how to sip on a cocktail instead of sucking it hungrily through one of those its bitty straws. I can openly admit that I hate Red Bull and capri pants.

I have been a bridesmaid 6 times, and a groomsman once. I am not married. I don't want to be married right now.

I still have no idea how to hold a baby while standing up.

I can't say I'm not looking back and reflecting. I am. I think about the tests and triumphs of my 20s and thank God that they are past and have strengthened me for the road ahead. Life is hard no matter what age you are, but dealing with all of lifes obstacles AND trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in is horribly overwhelming.

Honestly, I think if you don't get tested in your 20s, you're doing it wrong. This is the decade of learning that will kick your ass. This is real. This is when you have to start taking care of your own shit, eh? I graduated college, got a job, bought a car… and learned what a budget really is.

In those distant early 20s, I remember days where all I wanted to do was die. I got past them. I celebrate those days now, as something that strengthened me. I celebrate the people who stood by me and helped bring me back, kept me alive…even though it would have been easier to give up and leave me to myself. What did I learn? How to put things into perspective, how to deal with the harshness of the real world, and most importantly, how to ask for help.

I learned about loss in my 20s. I learned that a person doesn't have to die for them to be gone. I learned how powerful prayer and the strength it gives you can be. I learned you can miss someone even if they're right in front of you, and sometimes you can't bring them back.

I learned self-motivation, and responsibility. I learned how to push myself to achieve real goals - goals that would give me satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment rather than just a good grade or a gold star. I'm still working on learning how to be on time for things, but I'm getting better.

I now know how it feels to be passed on for a promotion. It's the hardest thing in the world to keep your chin up after that and stay motivated…..hard to keep from feeling like a failure.

Not to be such a Debbie Downer, but life lessons are hard, there's no doubt about it. Most of us do a lot of growing and changing in our 20s…

But growth is self-improvement. I plan to always grow, learn, get wiser, stronger and tougher. Stagnance is death. I don't feel like I'm older, I feel like I'm better. I even have a gym membership now. Seriously, my ass is way smaller now than it was when I was 22.


One of my harder lessons came recently, from someone I've been very close to for most of my 20s. Some mistakes have quite the butterfly effect, and for me, have led to broken heart, broken trust, and a lost friendship. Dealing with the person I've always gone to first for comfort no longer being there for me is something I don't have adequate words for. It hurts. Every day I get a little stronger, I cry a little less…I move forward. I try not to let this broken trust damage my friendships with other people.

I've been told by a couple of people that turning a milestone birthday is a chance to throw away badness and start fresh….and I don't agree. Though in many ways I'm looking back and remembering all that got me to this point in my life, thankful that those hard moments are past, I don't want to rush something that I have yet to suffer through. A birthday is not a reset button, it is a reminder that time is still moving with me, and I have to move forward.

I guess the biggest lesson of all is not to get too comfortable, eh? I'm sure I have a lot more regret ahead of me, from things I haven't done yet. I have things to feel and more lessons to learn. If there's one thing I've learned over the past decade, it's that I'm just a little bit stupid sometimes, like everyone else.

One thing that will be true forever though, is that I have a lot of amazing people around me. For my birthday, I celebrate surviving another year, and I celebrate the support system and the love that got me here. I celebrate all of you. Mwah!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Public Service Announcement: Shave your face

Dear men, women are not that hard to figure out. We like to be loved, valued, and we like to feel attractive. If you can do that for us, then you're probably on the right track, or have found someone awesome. Most of us women who are worth anything look for a man who will treat us right, rather than specific physical crap that's just gonna fade or sag. I like a man to take care of himself, but if you think your abs are more important than your brain, I would like to tell you from the bottom of my little ginger heart to just get bent and stop reading. We look for who you are, not what you look like, I promise.

There are exceptions to everything, and I'm gonna let you men in on one. You ready?

Women hate beards.

I was reading the headlines online a couple of days ago and there was a slideshow on of the World Beard and Mustache Championship. I remember just assuming that all these men with this crazy shit growing out of their faces probably had given up sex altogether in favor of their facial hair. Crazy bastards.

Women hate beards.

We hate them. You grow a beard, you become a human Swiffer. You have face-velcro. Everything gets caught in your bristly face-hair like tiny little shipwrecks in a coral reef. You think we want to get our own pretty faces anywhere near that? No way. It's like making out with a Brillo pad, except nastier. I don't want yesterday's lunch smeared on me. Sorry. I'm allergic.

Not even Brad Pitt can make it look good. Ugh.

Sometimes scruff can be sexy. Some women like mustaches. No women like beards. None of us are attracted to beards. Actually, we aren't sure why guys like to grow them either. Seems like it would itch. You may be lucky enough to have a woman who will tolerate a beard, but let's face it, you probably met her when you didn't have one.

Think of it this way: men aren't attracted to women who grow out their leg hair. Hell, we don't even like growing it out, even though it's a pain to shave all the time because it feels disgusting. Beards don't make you look manly. They make you look lazy.

Bottom line: it makes you look older, dirty, and we can't see your face. If you're gonna let a little stubble grow in, that can be sexy but groom it and trim it so it doesn't get out of hand. You can still get your rugged, manly look without going overboard.

As for the rest of your face-hair options, don't do pencil-thin anything, ever, because it looks really really stupid. Make sure you have two eyebrows...

...and above all else, don't rock a toothbrush mustache. It seems like a no-brainer to not mimic Adolf fucking Hitler, but apparently no on told...

...Michael Jordan. Michael committed the most capital offense of facial hairdom. On a Hanes commercial. That is what I call a fail. I have nowhere to go from there so I guess this post is done.

The End.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Writer's block

I've been thinking for a while that it's about damn time for a new post, but I've really been lacking in the inspiration department lately. I don't know why, with all that's been whooshing around in the world over the past month or so, like...

The Royal Wedding.

Ugh. I don't understand what the obsession was with this. It's a wedding in another country of people I don't know. I wasn't invited, in fact if I ran into any of the Royal friggin Family on the street, I seriously doubt they'd give me the time of day. Honestly though, it wasn't the wedding itself that annoyed me. It was the incessant coverage and magazine covers and photos and updates and crap for MONTHS everywhere I turned. If I were the Royal couple I would have run off and eloped somewhere and then hid on a Greek island for a couple of weeks. Of course that sounds good to me because I have an actual job to escape from. What do they have to escape from? A castle? I can't even...

...oh well, at least this happened:

So you can drink your coffee out of a piece of history, kinda. OK no. But it's funny.

...and this:
Which is more weird than funny. Who HAS this stupid thing?

...and some chick wore this hat that I REALLY wanted to launch an Angry Bird through:

And then everyone else dressed like Easter eggs and wore Jimmy Choos. With the exception of Kate her sister and the Beckhams, no one was especially good looking either. If I'm going to get up at 4am to watch something on TV I want some pretty (I mean supermodel pretty) people to gawk at. Superficial but true. Judge all you want.

Ok what else?

I was extremely dismayed that shows were given to idiots like Audrina Partrige, and Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom (though I guess he doesn't have anything better to do now that the Mavs swept the Lakers... so why not make a stupid perfume with his enormous wife on national TV? Sure go ahead. Make your damn money).

Did I mention the Lakers got swept by the Mavericks in the Conference Semifinals? I'm sure Kobe is somewhere in a dark hotel room listlessly bouncing a basketball against the wall and listening to Snow Patrol or something. A single tear is rolling down his cheek. Good times. Get a ring Dirk, it's time.

Also people apparently like watching pregnant teenagers act like dumb assholes with their dumb asshole useless baby daddies. TV is also overloaded with Jersey Shore bullshit, Kendra, and that other blonde bimbo who used to change Hef's diapers.

This is her. Her name is not important.

Oh and they gave Kate Gosselin another shot at a TV show and apparently she yells a lot on national TV. Shocking. Her hair is still stupid. Even more shocking.

I mean if her hair got any faker it would be...

...tardy for the party. Don't go near an open flame with that thing.

On the political front (and speaking of stupid hair), Donald Trump has proved himself to be a total douche. While he was busy worrying about the President's birth certificate, which was none of his damn business anyway, President Obama was planning and ordering the attack and ultimately the death of America's #1 terrorist enemy. The Donald should go back to worrying about what people think of his hair, and how to keep Celebrity Apprentice ratings up now that Gary Busey is gone. Nobody cares that Star Jones had a fight with NeNe Leekes... no one even knows who NeNe Leekes is.

And Busey ended up a winner anyway, because I hear he was cast in the next Piranha 3-D movie. I can only assume he thinks he'll be playing a piranha...though I don't think I ever want to see his teeth in 3-D. Ever. That's too scary even for a horror buff like myself.


OK, now all joking and ranting aside, parts of our country suffered serious tornado damage a couple of weeks ago. Six southern states were battered and people lost their lives, homes and businesses. Please remember these people in your thoughts and prayers, and give if you can to tornado relief. You can do so here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

We can all help

It never ceases to amaze me the good that disaster and tragedy brings out in people. On March 11, 2011 Japan was hit by a (literally) earth-shattering 8.9 earthquake, then a tsunami. These events caused destruction like nothing we've ever seen. Thousands are dead, many more are missing or hurt… and almost half a million people are homeless. Now on top of that, the country is facing a nuclear crisis.

The people of Japan need help rebuilding their homes and their lives, and it's been really awesome to see how many American people, companies and businesses have stepped up to help. It's inspiring. Japan has come to the aid of Hurricane Katrina victims, as well as other natural disaster victims and communities around the world. Now they need our help…. it is estimated the damage is over $180 billion.

If you haven't guessed already, this post is about helping with disaster relief in Japan. I've put together some easy ways to do just that.

Thanks to modern technology, it's so easy to donate money. You can donate from your phone, just with a simple text:

• American Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
• Convoy of Hope, Inc. Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to give $10.
• GlobalGiving. Text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10.
• The Salvation Army. Text JAPAN to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
• International Medical Corps. Text MED to 80888 to give $10.
• Mercy Corps. Text MERCY to 25383 to donate $10.
• Save the Children. Text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222 to donate $10.
• World Vision. Text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222 to donate $10.
• To donate $10 through UNICEF, text JAPAN to 864233.

The American Red Cross is working with the Japanese Red Cross, and assisting the Japanese government in its response. You can donate to the Red Cross via text as listed above, or you can go to their website here. As of last Wednesday afternoon, the Red Cross had received $2.6 million through text messages and $47 million overall.

A donation to Samaritan's Purse will help them to distribute food, clean water, medicine, blankets, weatherproof plastic and other essentials to survivors. Last week, Samaritan's Purse delivered essential water purification equipment, because clean water has been one of the biggest shortages in Japan since the tsunami. The day after the quake, they sent over $200,000. From what I've read, Samaritan's Purse works to respond with essential supplies and equipment and support that the Japanese government is saying they need the most, so rest assured that your donation will count towards something vital to the survival of people who've lost everything and are clinging to life and hope.

If you donate on, Crunchyroll will match your donation, so if you donate $10, $20 will go to Japan. Click HERE to donate.

On you can purchase food to be sent to Japan. They are a small company and I love that they are doing this. They include a handwritten note in every box of food, written in Japanese that the box was a donation from the American people to help our friends. Love love love.

Shelter Box USA
is sending boxes full of supplies, including shelter and blankets to the people of Japan who have lost their homes. You can easily donate, amounts even as little as $1, because every little bit helps.

There are also a few free ways to help:

"Like" Dog Bless You on Facebook, and $1 will be donated to the organization to help finance search and rescue dogs in Japan. Rescue dogs are finding people every day, and you can help with a single click of your mouse.

On YouTube, if you leave a positive comment on this video the maker of the video will donate 50 cents to help Japan.


I could go on and on with ways people are helping. This is just scratching the surface. Sometimes it seems like all over the world, all humans are interested in doing is fighting each other. I hate that. I want to see more of this generosity and caring across cultures. I want to see all humans help each other. Whether you are able to donate $1 or $100, know you have helped someone who desperately needs it. I am so grateful to who I have listed in this post, and to the many more who are helping our brothers and sisters in Japan. You are wonderful.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Welcome to Earth

So right now aliens are invading our theaters, and I'm thinking… maybe I should write a movie post that doesn't involve my beloved zombies for a change. I am well-rounded enough in my tastes to do that… I think.

You see, there are two movies that I'm pretty excited about. This weekend, Battle: Los Angeles hit theaters, and Paul will start playing this Friday. I understand these are two very different movies but they have one thing in common: ALIENS.

I'll start with Battle: Los Angeles. I've been excited about this movie for months. I've watched every trailer, read updates and checked out movie stills. It. Looks. Awesome. Remember that feeling you had when the White House blew up in the Independence Day trailer? I got that same feeling with the first Battle: Los Angeles trailer. Unfortunately though folks, I'm not hearing good things about it. From the trailer, I'm seeing jaw-dropping effects and a plot line that looks reminiscent of an old-fashioned sci-fi movie about a catastrophic alien invasion intent on wiping out human kind. That is what I want to see. What I'm hearing from critics is that it's vapid eye-candy and little else. Honestly, even though it would be nice to have a little substance in a story that focuses around an alien invasion apocalypse, eye candy may be all I need from this. It looks like a blast and I can't wait to see it. Besides, it's not like Independence Day could ever be called the Citizen Kane of alien movies… it had Bill Pullman in it for shit's sake. Lighten up critics, and just enjoy it.

Now let's look at Paul. This one is a comedy. There is no catastrophic invasion, just one little green man who's escaped from Area 51. I love it already. First, look at the cast. It stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who are the guys from one of my all-time favorite movies, Shaun of the Dead. The alien is voiced by Seth Rogen, and then you have Sigourney Weaver, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Jeffrey Tambor and Jane Lynch. Awesome, right? I laugh my ass off whenever I see the trailer, and I intend to laugh even harder at the actual movie. Again, not Citizen Kane… but seriously what do you expect from a movie about an alien?

Which brings me to part two of this post. I definitely have favorites when it comes to little green men invading our little blue planet. Now, I could put true classics like the original War of the Worlds or Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind… and don't get me wrong those are GREAT movies… but I'd rather sit on my couch and watch something more fun. Here are my top 5 favorite aliens-on-Earth movies:

1. Predator 1987

In a word? Classic. In another word? Awesome. You've got a stealthy, invisible bad-ass alien creature vs none other than Arnold Fucking Schwarzenegger. In a fucking jungle. This movie is the ultimate in bad-ass. It's violent, has cheesy Schwarzenegger-esque one-liners, and takes us back to a time when there were real badasses out there in Hollywood, not pretty boys in their skinny jeans. You can't kick an alien's ass in skinny jeans… there just isn't enough mobility.

2. The Thing 1982

Bridging the gap between the horror and sci-fi genres, The Thing is a gross and creepy classic. First of all, you have Kurt Russell, a man's-man with epic hair. Then you have an alien parasitic creature that can take over and shape itself into any living thing. Throw in the subzero wasteland that is Antarctica and you've got some scary good times. I mean, how can you battle something if you don't know what it looks like… or who?

3. District 9 2009

Probably the last big alien invasion movie to come out, it was an instant favorite for me. In fact, I have stated numerous times that it was my favorite movie of 2009, beating out The Hangover, Iglourious Basterds and Avatar. Like many of the best sci-fi movies ever made, this one had a strong social message and theme, yet didn't come off as preachy. It came off as a warning. I felt strong emotions toward the characters and was on the edge of my seat the entire film, not just for the action sequences. The effects were flawlessly integrated with live action. It was just a masterpiece.

4. Independence Day 1996

I'd never seen anything like this movie when it came out. Loud, flashy, and completely over-the-top… and that's just the movie's star, WIll Smith. Hur. Hur. ANYway I still watch it every time it comes on, because you really can't have more fun watching a movie than with this one.

5. Mars Attacks 1996

Ok, for this one you either love it or hate it. I loved it, a great combination of spoofing on and paying homage to all the alien invasion movies that came before it… plus in has Jack Nicholson.


Now, my favorite alien movies are the Alien franchise, but I couldn't include them because they take place in space and not on Earth. Sorry Dr. Ripley.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stayin' alive

I'm going to get right to the point. Obesity scares me. When the people I love neglect their bodies and health, not only do I fear for them… I fear I will lose them way too soon. I was browsing Fox News online earlier today and came across this article about heart attack survivors who don't change their eating habits (or start out good and go back to eating crap and not exercising) and it hit me pretty hard.

You see, three years ago my dad had a heart attack (in and all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet no less). I almost lost my dad because for years and years he has neglected his body. The consequences of both my parents being unhealthy has always been in the back of my mind, but until that point never really scared me.

It scares me now.

That day in the hospital I saw obesity in a new light. I finally saw it as dangerous - I saw it as something that could take away people I love. It's been really hard to vocalize this to my parents without getting angry. After the attack, my dad did eat better and he exercised… for maybe 6 months. My mom kept on the same path of bodily destruction she's been on for years, and slowly my dad joined her again.

My parents have a hard time walking around. They aren't old, but their bodies are showing wear that shouldn't be there yet because of the weight they are carrying. Maintaining a healthy weight isn't just about looking good. When you're healthy you feel better, your body works better, you sleep better, you're at less risk for diseases… the list goes on.

I feel like as Americans we are conditioned to put junk into our bodies, and it's killing all of us. I can only beg the people I love to practice healthy habits so much, but even I don't always succeed in practicing them. We live in a society that tells us that things should be easy… and with growing technologies, etc. we are all becoming lazy because as far as I know there is no iPhone app that's gonna get my ass on a treadmill. Motivation has to come from inside, and staying healthy isn't easy. Losing weight and retraining your body and mind for health is even harder.

To my parents, finding health seems like an impossibly steep mountain to climb. Unfortunately, it is a mountain that never had to be there in the first place. The last time I really sat down with both of them, we were in a bakery. I couldn't bring myself to order anything but hot tea, because standing in front of that case of sweets with the two of them just took me back to that day in the hospital. The three of us sat down at a table, me with my tea and my parents with lattes and a big slab of chocolate cake. I couldn't watch them eat it. It's the hardest thing in the world to sit and watch people I love most in this world kill themselves with food. My dad promised me that day they were going to "get healthy" but I've heard it before, from both of them.

The thing is, I know they both want to. I know that for both of them, food is an addiction. Add that to their sedentary lifestyle, and you have a losing situation. I can beg until I'm blue for them to get up and start moving… gradually chip away at the bad habits they've developed and finally start living healthier.

I beg them to stop breaking my heart. I once told my dad "I know I have to lose you sometime, but please don't let it be because you're fat. Please don't let it be because of something you could have prevented."


I beg all of you to strive towards a healthy lifestyle, no matter what shape you are in right now. If nothing else, think of the people around you who love you and would be devastated if you were taken from them too soon. I hurt for my parents every day, and pray that they will find the strength and motivation to do something about their health. I'm not sure how much hope I should have though, because if a heart attack won't jolt someone into reality, I'm not sure what will.


Be healthy for yourself and for the people you love. Do it to feel better and live longer. We all have it in us, and if we motivate and encourage each other we'll find success.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My funny Valentine

Well, it's Valentine's Day, and it's almost over. A lot of you are breathing a sigh of relief, some of you are getting laid, and the rest of you don't care.

All I have to say is, whatever you did today, I hope you laughed. If not, check out this assortment of festive messages and get in a few chuckles before you head to bed. I like to think there is a little something here for everyone:

Yes please.

If the Hoff loves me, all is right with the world.

I included this for my grouchy and cynical readers.

Nothing says I love you quite like defacing public property... an overpass would have been more moving, but this will do in a pinch.

For now.

It's important to be your own kitteh, no matter what the world thinks of you.

You do, right?

This one says it all for me.

This too.

Everyone loves a bacon reference...

... but they love actually receiving bacon more.

Fiery passion should really come with some sort of insulating potholder. This guy may be a little too hard-core for me.

Use good beer for that and we'll talk.

Yes Will Wheaton. I would like to make a Wheaten-Hoff sandwich. I mean, who wouldn't?!?

And my personal favorite:
I just want to slap it and watch the ripples go and go. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!