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Archive for January 2010

Hibernation Time: Breaking The 40 Pound Barrier

It's hibernation time

As you may or may not know, I’ve been shedding pounds like snake skin since last April.  It had a little to do with improving self-confidence, especially around quiet bookish girls, and I’ve kept at it.  I lost 25 pounds pretty quickly (in 12 weeks), and eked my way to 30 lbs by Labor Day, but it’s been slow going since.  I’ve even lost another 6-7-8 pounds, depending on the day.  That means as much as 38 lbs total since April (today is a fat day, so it might only be 36 lbs right now).  I’ve hit a wall, though.  I can’t quite break the 40 pound barrier.  Inspirations and motivations have waned steadily the last few months and that might have contributed to my stagnation.  Also, my front lawn has become tundra and I seem to have rediscovered sugar (mostly chocolate).

Being a few pounds shy of 40 pounds for 2-3 months is a bummer, but I did well not fattening up for the holidays.  In fact, when I was in CA visiting family for Christmas, I went on several walks in my grandparents’ neighborhood.  This, of course, was a necessary therapy that kept me from madness around certain relations, but it also kept me from becoming the Christmas goose.  In fact, I weighed in thinner than both my brothers for the first time in forever which is pretty awesome.  Now that my birthday is next week, Groundhog Day, even, I feel it’s my duty to force the issue and finally reach the mythical 40 pounds by my birthday, even if I have to starve myself that last 36 hrs.  I’m pretty sure I could do it.  It’s 3-4 pounds in about 7 days, so it’ll be close, but I’ve done it before. It would be a cool birthday present.

Hitting those round marks is great.  20 pounds.  25.  30.  35.  By April Fools I’d like to hit 50 pounds.  Heck, why not by St. Patrick’s Day?  Oh, the dream of thinness lives on.  Getting those good abs back by summer would be swell.  From there, who knows.  Maybe Gandhi-chic.

The secret word is bear.

Related Reading:

How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #4. Learn To Cook

My Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets: Sticking It To The Terrorists

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Steps 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #3. Shape Up, Fatty

Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

Oral History Fixation Cooking

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No Mom, I’m NOT Gay

by Jonathan Butch Perry

Totally not gay Bert and Ernie

So, I enjoyed watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy when it first came out (Haha!  Came out.).  This fun show speaks to me in many ways. It reaches me on different levels.  Well, maybe two levels.  First, I identify with the sloppy heteros (straight dudes) in need of special direction as these are my people and I, too, am in need of free clothes (See how I start with clarification?).  Secondly, the effeminate are often an amusing folk.  They are a peculiar people.  I have been amused by the effeminate since I discovered Dana Carvey’s Church Lady during the golden age of Saturday Night Live in the 80s, and since I learned that my uncle Bud and his friend Frank were more than just roommates like Ernie and Bert (I still don’t buy into that Ernie and Bert gay thing and my letters to the Children‘s Television Workshop have gone unheeded).

Frank, whom my brothers and I somehow learned to call Aunt Frank, successfully plays up his gayness and this has perhaps increased his hilarity manifold.   Even before we knew about homosexuality, my younger brother Jay, at a rather young age, was impressed enough with Frank that one day at dinner he told Frank he wanted to marry him.  Later that evening, our frightened parents sat us down and delicately explained for the first time the special nature of Uncle Bud and Aunt Frank’s relationship.  Oh, and homosexuality.  Perhaps our parents prayed long and hard in an all night vigil filled with weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Jay and I were probably aged 5 and 7 (Chris wasn‘t alive yet), so there might have been a small comprehension gap.  As we were pastor’s kids, it was also explained to us that though homosexuality is a sin, we still love the people even though they are condemned to an eternity of dry skin and bad hair days.  So, there you go.  As I write this I feel a little dirty, like I’m outing someone (My brother Jay is married, by the way.  To a woman.).  It’ll be ok.

Now, because I am a single male past the marriageable prime of college age and don’t date excessively it has been suspected by various members of my family, mostly aunts, that I “play for the wrong team“.  I would like to take this opportunity and state for the record once and for all that, though I am a San Francisco Giants’ fan, I am not gay.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that (if you don‘t mind eternal dry skin).

Once, when I was about 18, I went with my family to San Francisco to visit Uncle Bud.  While we were there being tourists and waiting for the cable car, I got separated from my family in a way I cannot recollect.  I dutifully stood at the corner alone waiting for the family car to collect me.  In the meantime, a fine fellow emerged from the cocktail bar across the street, made his way over to me and started talking.  It became apparent that he was gay.  And on a mission.  Or something.

ad hoc Halloweenery in college. I’m hamming it up in the horns. Preemptive blackmail pic posting.

“My friends and I have been watching you for a while and we’re not sure what you’re doing, but I wanted to invite you over for a drink.”

My memory is a little fuzzy at this point as I seem to have had several moderate brain spasms.  Possibly strokes.  Am I being hit on by a gay man?  Does he think I’m gay?  Oh Lord!  He thinks I’m an amateur male hooker!  You know, I do actually look pretty good today. As if the wind had been knocked out of me, I weakly responded with something like “No thanks.  I’m just waiting for my ride”.  (I should have clarified that my mom was my ride and not some random John.)

Not easily dissuaded, he responded, “Well if your ride doesn’t come, come on over and join us.”
(Join us!)  It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!

Thankfully, the fine fellow returned to his cocktail bar (apropos name, no?) and my ride came a few minutes later, but I swear to you, that as the family car pulled up, I saw the guy leaving the bar again and coming back in my general direction.  And I never did get to ride the trolley.

Now, it may seem I’m protesting too much and this may seem suspicious.  It’s possible that I don’t help matters when I goof around and act effeminate for laughs or dress up in drag (rarely) just for kicks.  I may have confused a few people there.  Also, I’m not especially butch (though I totally outbutch my brothers).  It’s not like I hunt, race cars, or go to strip clubs.  In fact I enjoy the fine arts, classical music, dig the music of the Pet Shop Boys, and can be seen watching HGTV for hours at a time.  But I also enjoy sports, own a power drill, have a cool hockey scar, and love women, not in the way gay men love Cher or Madonna, but actually love women.  I am very much attracted to women.  At least the attractive ones (of course intelligence, personality, humor, and superior baking skills are also prized).

This last year, when I made a brief visit to Chinatown in San Francisco I walked past a gay couple who were dressed alike in leather vests with no shirts on underneath.  I actually felt bad for their poor taste in fashion and thought that they’d just fallen into a tragic gay stereo-type that should have long ago been amended.  It seemed a bit ironic considering gays seem to have fashion figured out.  Usually.  Also, when I walked by these oddly dressed guys, I was careful not to look away too much or stare too much.  It was the sort of awkward situation where you try not to look away or stare at the person with the extra nose or very large mole, but acknowledge the person as if he were normal and nothing to gawk at or flee from.  It’s hard sometimes, like walking a P.C. tightrope.  Curse you, P.C.!

There was an awkward moment in college when one guy wanted to hang out, you know, like that.  It’s cool when people are attracted to you, but weird when such a person is almost female, but not quite.  Barking up the wrong tree.  Once, when pressed in kind of a joking way, I actually told my mother and aunt that I was not (and still not), in fact, gay.  I’m not completely sure I convinced them.  Strangely, they would be ok with this.  It would resolve the problem of my non-married state and they would be on the front line of the codebreakers.  But there is no code.  It seems I’ll have to start peppering my conversations with more words like ‘boobs’ and ‘babe’ and ‘dude’ (maybe not ‘boobs’ at work).  This should clarify things.

What assumptions have people made about you because of your marital status?  Have family members ever asked you this sort of stuff?  What did you say? Did you start acting really tough and macho, overcompensating?

The Secret word is really.

Unrelated Reading:

Google-Stalking the Ex

Dating Advice From the Family

Valentine’s Day Shame

Sound Of Music Death Match!!!  Liesl v Maria

Bachelors In History

Esperanto Rhymes with Tonto

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

The Prophecy of the Tornado and the Trailer

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Kitten of Evil

Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

Couples vs Singles

Which is Your Type?  A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz



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Flight Of The Conchords-“Carol Brown”

My English friend Julia, who’s trapped in Australia, recently had this song stuck in her head.  It’s been plaguing me for weeks, too.  “Carol Brown just took a bus out of town, but I’m hoping that you’ll stick around.”  Flight of the Conchords‘ song “Carol Brown” is a modern “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover“, except it’s happening to you & it’s a little sad, though it’s also funny and a bit hopeful.  Good for therapy.  Jemaine bemoans the different ways women have left him and those exes form a choir to explore his issues.

It’s one of my favorite songs of 2009 (I’m totally making a list of favorite songs from ’09, so stay tuned).  Unfortunately, Flight of the Conchords (from New Zealand) won’t do any more seasons of their music comedy show on HBO.  So sad.  Both seasons are available on DVD, but you can’t borrow mine.  Hopefully they do some awesome movies, possibly based around “Prince of Parties” (please please).  (Oh, and I’ve had 70,000 page hits to this blog since I started last February!  Yippy. Thanks for reading.)  This video goes out to my friend Julia, my bro Jay (who’s also a big fan of FotC), and the choir of exes in my head that won’t shut up and who I still mindlessly obsess about sometimes.  Dangit.

Possibly Unrelated Reading:

Sound of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

Google-Stalking the Ex

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

See More Links At Right->

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CHRISTMAS RITUALS

by Jonathan Bismuth Perry

I’m quite disappointed this Nativity Creche isn’t mine. Click to enlarge.

Before the season is too far gone, I wanted to share my family’s swell Christmas traditions with you in order to engender your deepest sympathies.  One day I hope to have my own family and will then be forced to carry on many of these highly specific holiday rituals I’ve grown to love (minus the Golden Insulin Needle Award).  Until then, it just so happens I’ve written about these traditions in my unpublished book, The Gentle Art Of Starting A Cult: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, in the chapter “Developing Rituals“, excerpted here for your mockery.  So take this holiday greeting card of love and stick it where the sun don’t shine (Iceland) from December to March.  But mostly in December.

Our family, like the legions of mankind, is blighted with tradition and has some long established Christmas rituals it returns to year after year because of habit and not at all by force. Christmas Eve finds us gathered anticipatorily in the living room near the Christmas tree where we place wagers on when the dry stick will go up in a glorious fireball of holiday sacrifice. Then we sing through an ancient hymnal of carols like good Whovillagers and execute a small family talent show wherein various members juggle, mime the Nutcracker Suite, or a pianist playing Handel accompanies a castrato or a nose flautist. As we bask in the glow of the pagan tree (pre-fire or post, if Jay wins), we might read the Christmas story from the Bible or Charles Dickens.

After that, we painfully delay the gift unwrapping a little longer to consume special high fat Christmas party foods: mom’s fudge, sugar cookies decorated like Menorah (breaks apart with those little candlesticks), English Toffee, Russian Tea Cakes, Iraqi Chocolate Chip Cookies, eggnog (virgin), fruitcake (virgin), and cheeseballs (Uncle Dan).  Apparently, there are also sandwiches and a veggie tray in a pretense of a balanced meal.


A senior member of the family is then designated as Santa, though not forced into a red jumpsuit or Grizzly Adams hirsuteness, and removes gifts from under the tree, distributing one gift per round to each member of the family, until it is discovered that one lucky person has received many more presents than the other members of the family (gift equality is an important part of any communist gifting system). We explain this oversight by pointing out that this person isn’t really the family favorite, but that some of the numerous gifts were less expensive than the few gifts. This fools no one.  Still, a good time is had by all/most, and we unwrap and enjoy our grand gifts by breaking them (except when the gifts can break other things) and appreciate the wonderful and colorful Christmas decorations, like the Nativity Creche (not Koresh) with the three elves and white Gandalf action figure, until the wee hours of the morning.


On Christmas morning, after at least 2 hours of sleep, during which time the senior family members secretly filled the stockings with exciting and high calorie content trinkets, we descend as happy vultures onto the stockings at the mantelpiece and, with the festively shaped chocolate or candy canes hidden inside, recreate the buzz of the sugar high from the night before. It’s at about this time that the family presents its Diabetic of the Year with the Golden Insulin Needle Award(which immediately comes in handy).  We call it the GINA.  Someone very clever and naughty might try to rename it the Virtually Annual Golden Insulin Needle Award.  It would also make the award shape ironic.  We wouldn’t stand for that, though.


In Christmas seasons past, especially when my brothers and I were kids, we would go caroling with family, friends, and members of our church around to homes in randomly selected neighborhoods without neighborhood watch signs. We would sing hearty Christmas carols in multi-part harmony with our pre-pubescent voices and collect money for the poor (I never saw a penny of it) in spite of grumps with rifles and strict non-solicitation laws. Then, when we were done for the night, we would go back to a central location for hot chocolate and cookies. And insulin.  All highly specific rituals. Mostly sugar focused. Quite memorable. Things like these make me feel a part of a family. Reminds me that I don’t do much of this stuff anymore and really should consider seeking some sort of therapy for depression (or, maybe, start a cult.  Or a family.).

Um, Merry Christmas.  We don’t all have Diabetes.  What are your Christmas traditions?  What would you add to your traditions if you could?

The secret (made-up sounding) word is hirsuteness

Christmas Reads:

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

Holiday Chocolate-For Independence Day?

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelors: #s 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Holiday Hosting Survival Guide

Unrelated Groovy Reading:

Sound Of Music Death Match!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

Google-Stalking The Ex

Which is Your Type?  A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

Kitten of Evil

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Warren Beatty’s Bedpost Notches

A few posts ago I made an enormous list of famous historical bachelors, though only briefly mentioned modern bachelors and said absolutely nothing about their sex lives, which is good because I don’t actually know about their sex lives.  One sharp reader commented that actor Warren Beatty had been one such notable modern bachelor until he married Annette Bening a few years back.  Nothing was mentioned about his sex life at the time, though there were plenty of knowing winks and nods.

Now, however, a new biography on Beatty points out what kind of manwhore he really was.  12,775 WOMEN! Britain’s Daily Mail does the math and logistics and it involves population sizes of small English towns and villages (stats are swell).  Of course, the virile basketball player Wilt Chamberlain puts Beatty to shame.  Wilt claims 20,000 women (at least he did in his 1991 bio and that’s been almost 20 years), while the virginal Gene Simmons of KISS only counts in at 4,600 (yay, restraint).  Simmons, however, is no bachelor.  He’s been in a relationship (an open one) with former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed for over 2 decades.  Why do I mention this?  I thought it was curious.

Related Reading:

Famous Historical Bachelors

Bachelor Profiles: Vincent Van Gogh

BACHELORS IN HISTORY

Bachelor Profiles: Sherlock Holmes

BACHELORS IN CATHOLICISM

Bachelor Profiles: Mad King Ludwig

Bachelor Profiles: The Bachelor President

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Domesticated Bachelor RESOLUTIONS For 2010

Happy New Year and junk! 2008 and 2009 were great years for me.  I made swell strides in personal improvement:  bought a house, changed jobs for the first time in 9 years, lost almost 40 pounds, finished writing a book, started this blog, and dated a few good-looking and fascinating (if unhappy) women.  2010 is promising and I hope to take a hearty chunk out of its hopeful offerings.  Here’s my (public) list of resolutions for the new year (the private list may or may not include shameful notions like ‘Online Dating’,  ‘Invisalign’, and job advancement.  Yes, the public list is shameful, too.).

  1. Get below 200 pounds for the first time since just after college (Allow for muscle tone & abs.  If there’s good muscle tone and a nice 6 pack, then just over 200 pounds is fine and not bad for a 6 footer built like a linebacker.  Or me.).   I could totally do it by summer.  Maybe.
  2. Get more sleep.  Unless I’m hanging out with attractive women until the wee hours, there’s no reason I should exhaust myself and make my brain dull and eyes red (though bloodshot brings out the blue in my eyes).  This may mean more hopeful cocktails of Melatonin & Tylenol PM.  Of course insomnia is insomnia.
  3. Save more and invest more.  $$ x $$= $$$$$$
  4. Be more confident & fearless.  Don’t care what people think (like the unhappy, uber-critical, pretty good-looking girl-woman I was sorta kinda not dating for 6 months who teased me a few times for not being manly enough.  Man, I miss her.).  Also, don’t overshare feelings, especially with uber-critical women.
  5. Be more manly & rugged.  (ok, yeah.  So I’d like to be a bit more dude-ish, but not in an obvious, obnoxious, pandering to the critics sort of way).  I’ll still listen to the Pet Shop Boys.
  6. Do one major home project:  new siding, update a bathroom or the kitchen (by ‘do’, I mean pay someone skilled to ‘do’ this project).
  7. Do 2 minor home projects:  trim, doorway casing, paint stuff.
  8. Plant at least one new tree on my property.  Front yard 1st.  Maybe a Birch or Japanese Maple.  Maybe both.  Also an evergreen.  That sounds like 3.
  9. Do some landscaping.  Flagstone walkway.  Sunken garden in the low corner of the backyard.  Junk like that.
  10. Learn a manly skill or 2, like wiring a new light fixture or building a built-in bookcase.  Or join a fantasy football league.  It shouldn’t be as exhausting as the daily fantasy baseball league I was in for 2 years.
  11. Do more cool adventurous sorts of things:  whitewater rafting, backpacking, large hill climbing, long trail hiking.  Canoeing the boundary waters (if there are showers).
  12. Be more sociable & less reclusive.  More Jay Gatsby, less Ted Kaczynski.  Also, make friends.
  13. Date more frequently & less stressfully.  More irons in the fire reduce the chance that a single iron will burn you.  Or something dumb.
  14. Finish writing one of the books I’ve been puttering around in.  I’ve been chipping away at 3 or 4 books, but get distracted easily.  One project has 22 pages of notes, but only 7 pages of written product.  What’s up with that?
  15. Resume writing music.  Finish some songs.  Maybe learn to use the Pro Tools recording software I bought in ’08 right before I bought the house.  (If ever tempted to write a song for a girl again, sleep on it a few days first and be sure it’s finished and not incredibly dorky.  Or containing dark humor.  Dangit.)
  16. Waste less time.  This includes spending less pointless time online or wasting too much time on wishy-washy women, however much you dig them and can’t get over them.
  17. If all else fails, follow the 11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor.

(Again, I am not actually a Domesticated Bachelor.  I just play one in my mind.)

What resolutions do you goats have for 2010?

Related Reading:

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

Unrelated Awesome Reads:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

Valentine’s Day Shame

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

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