Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't worry, this will probably be my only post about working out....probably.

So, I have started working out again. By again, I mean I haven't seriously worked out since high school. Don't worry. I'm not going to be bombarding you with constant updates and pictures. I know that you don't want to hear about my developing six pack or that my traps are getting more defined and let’s face it, it'll take years for me to have anything to update about my abs. I certainly won't be posting any pictures either. If you want to see me with my shirt off you’re going to have to do like every other person and wait until I get semi drunk and dare me. Or if you’re a pretty girl just say hi. I'll rip it off. I'm not good at social interaction and that particular strategy has yet to work.

Now I'm not just going up to the gym and running and lifting some weights. No, I have a plan, DVD’s and a pull up bar. I'm not going to be a pitch man for said plan but I will tell you that it should take about 90 days and it's do you spell that?

Not only is it a workout program but it has a diet. This is where I see me having some trouble. I'm not a glutton but I do love some good food. I've been on this diet for 3 days now and I'm already noticing changes. Not my weight, but I feel a little better and I'm constantly hungry. And my sense of smell seems to have been heightened to Wolverine type sensitivity. Every time I go somewhere and get out of my car I can smell any unhealthy food within 200 yards. If you misplace your hamburger just let me know and I'll sniff it down for you, just don't expect to get it back once I find it.

If I have learned one thing so far it's that I had no idea how out of shape I really am. The workouts on the DVD's are challenging to say the least and I know that it will get better but at some point in the workouts I feel like Private Pile from Full Metal Jacket.

I'm not 100% certain but I feel that if I don't step it up my cat is going to throw me a blanket party. That just seems like something she would do. And before you make fun of me for having a cat keep in mind that I'm working out and we all know that witty responses hurt more coming from someone in shape. I'm not above waiting three or four months to give you a comeback. Just saying.

I'm sure they did it on purpose but on one DVD there is a guy working out with a prosthetic leg and so far this guy has kicked my ass. I'm not trying to take anything away from people with prosthetics, but I'm saying that if I start to make excuses to not work out or slack off I can think about that guy and justifiably tell myself to stop being a tool and get my ass in gear. I have no excuses left. Well played DVD, well played.

I know that it will get better. Eventually I'll get in shape, I won't be so sore that I refuse to go up my stairs no matter how much I need something and I won't cringe every time I have to stand up from the couch. Wish me luck Dear Reader. Hopefully I'll stick with it and be better man for it.

Ps. if you get an e-vite from my cat for a "beating Clifton into shape" party...please decline.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A little story about my grandmother and shuffleboard.

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. I called her Granny. Her real name was Wanda. I'm not going to tell you that she was the typical grandmother. While she did spoil me and took very good care of me as every grandmother should, she also lived a different kind of life than most grandmothers. Until the day she died she was a bartender at the V.F.W. in Kermit, the same V.F.W. that I lived above most of my teenage years.

Now, the V.F.W. was not a loud hard partying bar. It was filled mostly with men who rolled in at 5 or so and drank until their wives called the bar and told them to get home. She was an amazing woman. She was also one of the toughest women I have ever known. As shown by this story that was relayed to me by her brother many years ago.

Many many years ago my grandmothers brother was in the Navy. He had been at sea for a while and decided to come visit my grandmother, Wanda, while on leave. She was pregnant at the time. Despite this he talked her into going to a bar with him. He wanted to drink some beer and play some shuffleboard. A classic American outing.

So things are going well. My granduncle is enjoying playing shuffleboard and having some beers. He is getting to spend some time with his sister and relax. All you could ask for on some leave from the Navy. But, like most good times had at a bar it was brought to a halt by some drunken idiot. While my grandmother was bent over lining up what was to be without a doubt an amazing shot (she was really good at shuffle board) a drunken buffoon walks by, pinches her butt, and proceeds to walk over to the booth him and his buddy are sitting at and laugh about what he just did. Poor judgment on his part. My granduncle saw what had happened while he was at the bar getting more beer. Intent on doing what any brother would do for his pregnant sister he started walking over to the booth to beat the hell out of the guy (that’s just how my family handles things sometimes). Walking, focusing on the man he was about to punch, he didn't even see the shuffleboard puck until it hit the guy square in the face. My granduncle turned to see where the puck had come from but he knew before he even turned his head. My grandmother, apparently quite the athlete in her day, was underhand fast pitching the shuffle board pucks at the two guys sitting in the booth. She hit the other guy in the chest and they both went crawling under the booth seeking shelter. She proceeded to unload every puck at the booth, 8 in all.

Those things are heavy and solid. I can only imagine that they would have been better off taking the beating from my granduncle. After she was done my granduncle turned to the bar, sure that the bar tender was calling the cops. He had disappeared. After a few seconds the bartenders head slowly came up from behind the bar and asked "Is she out of ammo?"

Good times. Unless you’re one of the guys in the booth of course.

Like most stories passed on to us by our elders this is one that you can learn from. I'm sure everyone will get something different from it.

What did I take from it?

You never offend a pregnant woman, and if you do. Pray that her brother gets to you before she does.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Costume Contests.

I enjoy Halloween. As bad as I might be at coming up with good costumes I certainly enjoy a good one. I can appreciate those people who can come up with something original and put it together. I even enjoy the regular old costumes you can buy at all the Halloween stores. As long as you’re dressing up and having a good time I'm on board. But know your limits people.

Every year all the bars have Halloween costumes for all of those who have dressed up. Some bars offer credit off your tab and others just give you straight up cash. All in good fun.

All in good fun until the voting starts and you realize that there are people out there who feel that their old lame costume is good enough to enter into competition. Like I said, have fun but know your limits.

Did you really think that your Horny Devil outfit was going to get the gold? A couple of horns and a plastic pitch fork and you think you got the stuff to compete with the homemade Edward Scissorhands? Get that weak shit out of here. The last costume that’s going to take home the prize is a "Hippie" costume sir. Your long wig, beads and peace sign necklace are sure to make the crowd feel that you really brought the spirit of the competition home.

The beat down comes into play when the crowd is forced to sit there as each costume is called up to the stage to show what they got. Most of the time this is the best part. You get to see all the great costumes that you can only really catch glimpse of through the crowded bar. But when I have to sit through countless costumes that are not even close to being competitive I get annoyed.

Yes Dear Reader, I know that I sound like a rambling Halloween costume contest snob. Like every year I go to a random bar with a note pad on Halloween night and act like I'm the equivalent of the New York Times food critic. It's not that. Like I said I enjoy all the costumes. I just think they aren’t all competition material. It would be similar to me being able to do a nice little cartwheel. Not great form but you can tell what it is I'm doing. That doesn’t mean I'm going to take that cartwheel skill and lay it on some judges in a competition. Why waste their time?

Now, if I could make that cartwheel really slutty.......that’s a different story.