Monday, January 31, 2011

the sport court

Upon failing to sell my father on a bridge several years ago, the intrepid young salesman approached him with a new tactic.

"Sir, I can see you're building a house, and I can see you've lost count of the number of children you have, as well as small details like when and where they were born, and some of their names. Wouldn't it be a good idea to encourage those children to get out of the house and play sports?"

My dad thought about that for a few minutes, and pondered his career playing football as a youth in high school. Pictures of his prodigious progeny playing sports passed before his optimistic eyes.

The salesman could see he was making headway, so he went for the jugular.

"Why don't you try putting in a Sport Court?" he said.

"Why, what's a sport court?" my dad asked, puzzled and confused.

He prided himself at living at the cutting edge of technology, having been the first person in town to purchase a cell phone the size of a waffle iron. He was an early adopter of the personal computer, and he had a large collection of video recording devices with which he filmed birds singing in the Uintah wilderness, which was not a subject of scorn and derision ever in our household.1 Somehow he had missed this Sport Court trend. He thanked his lucky stars this lone bridge salesman was here to show him the way.

"Well, it's sort of like a basketball court, except built with a basketball hoop that will rust over in approximately thirty seconds. And it's sort of like a tennis court, except the size of a postage stamp. And it's sort of like a badminton court, except every time your son Chris takes women out to play badminton, they'll immediately think him feminized and will never speak to him again,"2 the salesman explained.

My dad pondered this for a moment, and immediately gave his acceptance for the scheme. He then conspired with the architect to ensure a fence would line said court, so that if any child ever did decide to use the court, they could spend most of the afternoon ripping their favorite pants3 while climbing the fence and chasing balls.

All he had to do next was convince my mother, AKA His Complete Polar Opposite, that building said future court was a good idea. The conversation went something like this:

Dad: Hey, what do you think about us putting a Sport Court in the backyard?

Mom: What's that?

Dad: You mean, you haven't heard of a Sport Court? You are so far behind the times! It's this magical court that will transport us and our family into dimension X, or somewhere beyond the Crab Nebula, where the laws of physics break down, and suddenly we'll find ourselves in a reality in which our children go outside to play instead of spending their lives huddled next to a damp piano singing Broadway showtunes.4

Kids 1 through 8: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Mom: Please, for the love of all that is good on this earth, make the screaming stop!

And so it came to pass that a Sport Court was installed. I cannot imagine the surprise on my dad's face when, instead of a cement truck showing up to pour the court, a plastic truck stopped by. And I wish I could have seen his face when, instead of placing down what one might describe as a "court", the plastic men covered the ground with millimeter-thick rectangular plastic waffle tiles. I do, however, remember the joy of watching as the court sat unused for a period of over twenty years, as his children slowly enfattened on delicious sweet rolls, and the magic plastic magically disintegrated and sank to the center of the earth.

1. I think now is an appropriate time to admit that I at one point forced my brothers to act in "films", one of which consisted of them hopping around singing, "I like to sing and dance in my shiny pants". This demonstrated, of course, incredible foresight on my part, knowing exactly how to blackmail them as adults. It should not be taken as evidence of any other kind, especially as evidence of my being weird kind. And these films just happened to be shown to their girlfriends over the holidays. Whoops. Just try getting married before me, you little punks. I play dirty.
2. Incredibly, one of my coworkers admitted to me, while drunk, that he played competitive badminton. He almost fought me after I inadvertently laughed and spit coke in his face. I tried to convince him that in "my culture", badminton is a sport for ninety-year-old women in long skirts, and we play it as a joke. After swearing to inflict no small amount of harm on my person, he resorted to yelling, "It's a sport! It's a real sport! It's a sport!" and challenging me to a badminton duel.
3. I have a hard time saying pants without registering the fact that, in the UK pants = underwear, and trousers = pants. I am writing in American, and thus am referring to trousers. This is the sort of confusion that caused me no small amount of shock recently when walking a South African woman home to hear her say she was going inside to put on pants. Thankfully, very thankfully, South Africans mean trousers when they say pants, it was discovered after several awkward moments.
4. My brother spent the majority of our youth demanding we turn the car radio to "SHOWTUNES SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!!!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

workplace restrooms

So, let's say you've got to build an office building. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, right? Aside from all of the civil engineering, architecturing, and permit acquiring that goes on, one of the biggest challenges on your list, nay, the biggest challenge on your list is this: how exactly are you going to fit in the maximum number of cubicles? You've got to make sure that when the dude across from me blows his nose, I feel a waft of fresh air.

Now, a lot of people might give up at such a herculean task. They'd be tempted to say, "okay, you win, you win, everyone gets their own office with a door so you can finally focus instead of trying to work while everybody and their dog in the greater British isles decides to stand behind you and scream and play country music and emit rancid body odor."

But, in fact, you'll be happy to hear, nobody says ridiculous things like that because the thought of allowing people to work in peace is heretical to the mind of a true manager. "But how will my minions communicate if their elbows aren't in each other's noses??" is the common refrain I hear from managers as I travel the world.

The obvious solution to this problem is to save space and provide one bathroom stall for each gender for each office floor, each floor being staffed by approximately sixteen hundred and fifty-three diarrheic researchers. This makes sense because you don't want people wasting their precious work time doing other things like containing Indian-induced explosions in tiny porcelain bowls. Instead of that, they could spend their time praying with the piety of any priest, listening and counting to the number of exits and entrances. Is the restroom holding area down to zero people? Only the most advanced of Statisticians are able to perform such a delicate calculation while in such a precarious position.

One of my favorite things in life is attempting to use the bathroom and finding it occupied. It is the highest point of my day. It in no way causes me to feel sudden and insatiable rage. Conversely, it is deeply saddening to me to sit in comfort as a constant stream of people attempt to open the locked door. How terrible for them to be denied their relief! Why, I am shocked at the very notion that someone could possibly take joy in their suffering, and cackle at every turn of the knob.

If you are designing office buildings, you can further heighten the enjoyment of the overall experience by placing paper-thin walls between the male and female bathrooms. I've always been curious to know what kind of relationship my female co-worker has with her mother, and today, thanks you to, I found out.1

Other ways you can make the experience more enjoyable would be to have two burly construction workers follow me to the urinal, stand and pant behind me. You could have the female janitor only clean said restroom while I am present. You could send a woman and her grandson to watch me from behind, and make polite conversation as I fight all evolutionary reactions attempting to relax. You could close the bathroom down for two months for "construction" and ask me to pee in local businesses, causing me to prowl Palo Alto like a panhandler, trying to find places that don't know me by sight and have banned me from freeloading2 off their toilets.

You could schedule meetings at any time of the day, and, like clockwork, I will need to pee exactly four seconds before said meeting begins. You could send a man in before me, and ask him to stand at the urinal for a period of two minutes, doing nothing except pumping awkwardness in full force into the room. You could send in my coworker L., who, for reasons I do not understand, always always needed to use the urinal when I was in the stall. I recognize every single pair of shoes he owns.3

And finally, this restroom rage doesn't need to end at the office.4 If you're my roommate, you could hop on the bandwagon and pee with the door open, this being the door affording one a side view of all that occurs in the bathroom. Thanks for that. Appreciated. I really wanted that scarring mental image burned into my brain for all eternity. Please, don't burn in hell. Whatever you do.

1. I can think of no better sign of the derangement of humanity than the prevalence of toilet-bound cell phone conversations. Every time I hear someone chatting in a stall I really want to start yelling, "He's in the bathroom! He's in the bathroom! He's defecating right now!"
2. I am not responsible for whatever gross and disgusting pun you wish to make of this.
3. Don't be too amazed. He only wears one pair. They're black.
4. Allow me to direct you here for more reading on this delicate subject. And I'm sorry. This is juvenile. I've had the topic on my list of future items for at least eight months now, and finally decided to run with it. I know I've just lost respect from just about everybody on the planet, but I just couldn't help it. Off to the bathroom now...

Friday, January 21, 2011

the league

When it became apparent that nerds were going to take over and rule the world, athletic dudes around the world banded together and created The League for the Suppression of Nerds through Physical Means, also known as Every Sport Ever Made Ever Ever Ever.

You or your significant other might be a member of this group if you have ever been able to successfully answer any sports trivia question in any capacity, instead of immediately blanking on the names of everybody on the team, and even your close family and friends after watching a game. In fact, if you even answer sports trivia, instead of throwing those cards away the minute you purchase Trivial Pursuit, you belong to The League.

On second thought, if you play Trivial Pursuit, you are in no way connected to The League.

And if you don't belong to The League, I'm sorry, but you're a woman. There's no other explanation for refusing to base your entire life around the actions of a group of people you have absolutely no connection to in any way, beyond the fact that they attended the same school you did and didn't destroy all chances at normal human relationships by showing up to a Halloween party in wrapping paper with a giant tag reading "From God To Women".1

This makes life difficult if you are not a member, and yet you wish to be taken seriously in your daily life. In other subjects, if you wish to master a topic, you can check out a nice book from the library, and enjoy a pleasant afternoon reading on a soft-backed chair next to a window, before picking up your pocket protector and heading home.2

In sports, however, one must glean information from any number of sources, though I can't really enumerate what those sources are, because, in one of the great mysteries of my adult life, people who have never memorized any digits of pi can rattle off irrational facts and figures from an infinite number of disparate sources. Where does one go to study and see if a team is "good" this year? The newspaper? Books? Radio Talk Shows? Podcasts? Must one collect the mountain of information one's self by watching every game and every team?

I'm always comforted when, having met someone, they make a fatal slip in the conversation and identify themselves as an individual not belonging to The League. They may accomplish this by using words or phrases like, "hypothesis", or "I neglected to shower this month", or "quite", or "the cards have been sufficiently randomized", or any and all references to worshipping Steve Jobs, the Santa Claus of Our Time.

You might be surprised to hear that there is a competing organization to The League, known as the Statistical Brotherhood of Truth. You indicate your membership in said organization by using the term "heteroskedasticity" at any moment in a conversation. The interlocutor at that point is to respond with the mean and variance of the distribution of their choice, with the obvious exception of the Cauchy, because only nerds like the Cauchy distribution. Though, it wouldn't be against protocol to mention another moment about the mean like kurtosis.3

Members of The League get their kicks by inviting nerds to play sports with them, whereupon they assign these nerds "routes" in which the instructions are to "run around wildly until we decide you've entertained us enough duck boy". The route that is my personal favorite is the one I was instructed to run during the last flag football game I played: "run straight until I hit you in the back of the head with the ball". I am not making these instructions up, and during the following play, I found myself pondering why exactly that would be the optimal route: I can't really catch a ball with any part of my body, must less my head, and definitely not the back of my head. It wasn't until later that I realized that he belonged to The League, and was putting me in my rightful place.4

You may attempt to absent yourself from these sporting events, but these sportsmen will insist that they need you in order to form "even teams", and by "even teams", they mean "someone we can pee on after ignoring you for an hour".

Should the teams be even, members of The League will pointedly encourage, or, in some vernaculars, the appropriate term would be, force you to play basketball with the women in gym. This is in no way permanently emotionally scarring.5

On a related note, I often hear debates about the permanence of The League, and whether or not certain "sports" will be played in the hereafter. I can't really speak to the accessibility of these events in the celestial realms, but I have it on good authority that these are all very prominently featured in hell.6

1. I pray the terrific irony of me wearing that ensemble will not be lost on you. In my defense, I thought it was funny. Dear Chris, run these ideas by people before you execute. Love, yourself. Also, dancing in a box can be fun. Even if it's by yourself.
2. In sixth grade one of my 'best friends' asked me if my day planner was a pocket protector. What I was doing with a) a shirt with a pocket, and b) a day planner in that pocket is beyond my current explanation, beyond the admission that I was easily the most cluelessly nerdy person on the face of God's green earth. This cluelessness was somewhat diminished that day by my realization that he couldn't get that derisory question out without a torrent of laughing.
3. Kurtosis being the measure of 'peakedness' of a random distribution. Someday I'm going to build up the courage to say something like, 'the kurtosis of my interest in you is quite a high statistic, quite a high statistic indeed'. Someday, my friends, someday. This could not decrease the likelihood of me getting a second date beyond its current global minimum.
4. Timmy, I still fear you and that football.
5. It has taken me the past fifteen years to be able to mention this in any capacity. Bring this up in conversation with me at your own physical peril. And they say they're cutting gym classes across the country due to budget restraints. Let them, I say. Let our kids be fat and well adjusted.
6. If you are an individual with whom mating is biologically feasible, let me take this time to warrantlessly claim that all of my wimpy genes are fully and entirely recessive, and will not pollute your offspring, should you be so gullible as to both believe that and go out with me after reading this.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reflections on pregnancy and child birth

Megan gave birth last Friday to our second child, a boy named Ezekiel. Here are some of my thoughts about the experience.

Like a turkey

Wouldn't it be nice if pregnant ladies had a little thermometer in their side that would just pop when they were in labor? Kind of like how you know your turkey at Thanksgiving is done. No more guessing when to call the neighbors to watch the kids, no more trying to decide if the contractions are close enough together. Just a little pop of the thermometer, and off to the hospital you go!

Like a kangaroo

Whoever came up with this human delivery thing could have spent a little more time in the design phase. Pushing a full term baby through the pelvic cavity? There's got to be an easier way. How about the baby gets to the size of a baseball then spends the rest of gestation in a pouch on the mom's tummy? Those kangaroos, I think they are on to something.

Like Mary Poppins' carpet bag

You know that part on Mary Poppins when she gets to her room and starts unpacking? That's kind of what child birth is like. I don't want to gross any one out or ruin the surprise for the uninitiated, but the doctor pulls out a baby, a placenta with umbilical cord, and a small country. And you just have to stare and wonder, "How did that all fit in there?" This is the miracle of child birth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

lessons learned at a company holiday party

In the grand Western Judeo-Christian tradition, all companies are required to host an event wherein people who normally spend their time wishing for large icicles to fall on each other can gather around a bar and drink away their remaining neurons.

This event may be held in December, or, if your company is populated by face-painting sloths, in the September following the holiday season.1

One of the best parts of a company holiday party is the forced interaction with people with whom you share no common bond outside of the fact that you both happen to perform your drastically different functions for the same company. These interactions are typically much more uncomfortable for my coworkers, mainly because I am impervious to feeling awkward when staring at someone long after the conversation has died down.

Just kidding! I feel nothing but awkward in all facets of my life, at every moment. They, of course, feel nothing, because they are doused in alcohol. So I get to spend the evening going from one awkward drunk encounter to another, praying that people while drunk do actually forget everything that happens to them, including the hideously bad dancing they are subjected to.2

The first key to a successful holiday party is to announce a vague dress code. This might be done by informing the entire office that you don't need to dress up, and that the dress code is "smart".

Now, if you were a young lad from Utah, you might assume that "smart" means "basically anything you happen to have in the suitcase you are still living out of". Though this is roughly approximately correct, it is actually nowhere near by anything like correct. Let me encourage you to wear that suit you left home, thinking that you would be the most overdressed person in the crowded sweaty Moroccan-themed bar, lest you find yourself in a natty sweater3 surrounded by a set of individuals who appear to have walked straight out of the casino scene in a James Bond novel.

The second key to a successful holiday party is to hold said party in a tightly-enclosed space and fill the entire audistic capacity with the loudest British pop ever heard on the planet. This is the sort of environment you want to have when you have the following conversation with an individual several levels your senior:

Senior Coworker: I say, you're dressed poorly!

Me: Why, thank you.

Awkward pauses.

Senior Coworker: What do you have for breakfast?4

Nearby Tipsy Coworker: Eggs!

Me: Cereal!

Senior Coworker: (Displaying palpable confusion) Whaddya mean? For breakfast?

Me: Um, yes?

Senior Coworker: (Spending several moments trying to comprehend this monstrosity) Really? I guess I have cereal for dinner on some evenings, but for breakfast? I normally stick to a nice pot of porridge.

Me: Mumble gotta go see someone else mumble.

And lastly, the third key to a successful holiday party is to invite along a British Member of Parliament (MP), so as to heighten the entertainment of the party when one of his entourage (first identified as a Swedish MP, but this was later withdrawn) circles the room, bumping into people, eating out of serving trays with his fork, and desperately looking for a place to pee.

But have no fear. Holiday awkwardness will be spared when the Pole you are speaking to drops her glass, which manages to slice your hand as you pick it up. You're now free to leave.5

1. If it weren't for Sam, we never would have had one at all for that year. And lest my co-workers take offense, I am counting myself in the painted sloth assessment.
2. At one point last month I found myself doing the can-can with a drunk Brit, Jamaican, and Indian, all wearing Burger King crowns, with a belly dancer performing nearby. This was one of the more surreal experiences of my life.
3. Please, they call them jumpers. There's nothing quite like not only being insulted for underdressing, and then being told you are wearing a woman's sleeveless, collarless dress.
4. As stated, when you have nothing in common, you're left with the bare shards of slowly-dying conversations.
5. Lest my coworkers be insulted, I did enjoy myself, though not as much as my coworker who I called at ten the next morning to find he was just on his way home enjoyed himself. Though, to be honest, I much more appreciated the Germany holiday party, wherein I was allowed to talk to a gorgeous German for the balance of the evening, though we likely did not connect as much as my buddy did with the Swiss-German he met on the top of the Eiffel Tower, and pursued vigorously until finding out she was, wait for it, seventeen. I will never let him live that down as long as he lives.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dieting

Slim fast? I don't think so. South Beach diet? Yeah right. Counting carbs? Count me out! I'll be doing the Hannah1 diet. Hannah has a great figure, and she only weighs 30 pounds! Clearly her strategy works.

First, you must be Picky about what you eat. And when I say Picky, I mean Picky with a very capital P. For example, she will eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich, but only if it is cut in the shape of a duck. Fortunately, we have a cookie cutter in the shape of a duck, or my life would be pure misery.

Next, you must eat next to nothing. A sample menu would be three peas, a spoonful of yogurt, and a king size candy bar. Or perhaps a fistful of rice, a drop of juice, and a carton of ice cream.

Finally, you must burn off every calorie as you eat it. Hannah does this by taking a small bite of dinner, then running around the table 20 times. Bite. Run. Repeat. Very simple.

With this regimen, you will be in swimsuit shape in no time.

1. As in, my two-and-a-half year old daughter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

being single

I've spent the past few nights sleeping in a trundle bed at the foot of the king-sized bed my co-worker snagged because he wasn't forced to chill in the San Diego airport until midnight on the day we all arrived at our offsite meetup, and let me tell you, if there's one thing I've learned from this experience, being single is awesome.

That's mainly because if I weren't single, I'd be sleeping on the equivalent of a trundle bed1 every night of my life.

Many of you may wonder why I'd be kicked out of bed every evening, but let us recall with horror how I called my last date a man eater,2 and it should come into focus nicely for you. Would I make that same mistake every evening? Maybe not. Would I think of new and innovative ways to alienate the women of my life? I haven't stopped yet!

Being single is pretty great. I get to sleep on trundle beds feet away from the ocean, I get to not call my wife like all of my co-workers are doing right now, and I get to stay at work and sweat and toil for the man however long I want without even being able to conceive of what it would be like to have a single soul in the world missing my face that will soon be cracked and bleeding due to my neglecting to pack shaving cream.

It's also great because every time I go home I get to eat delicious food, which I appreciate like manna from heaven, not like my sissy little brother who breaks out into a cold sweat whenever my mom leaves town for a Sunday. At some point I want to buy some white gloves, put them on, then take one off and slap him around a bit and remind him I ate cereal for twelve Sunday dinners in a row and he should man up and try breaking his day-long fast to cold Weetabix.3 Who needs to learn how to cook when cereal exists?

Being single is also great because I honestly started an article two months ago complaining about my maid. My maid! I had a freaking maid! I was in the top .0001% of humanity who is too fat to clean up after themselves, and needs to employ someone else to handle their slobbery, and I was complaining about it! She moved my cords and clothes around in the course of vacuuming my house and cleaning my bathroom, and I wanted to whine! Can you even comprehend how selfish someone has to be before they hit that level of anal retentivity?

Last week I spent a half hour hearing a friend of mine talking about how difficult it is to work nights and take care of her two children while her husband was away in the army, and I spend my time thinking up ways to complain about traveling the world and getting people to clean up after me.

This is the blessing of a single life.

Sure, I'll die alone, unmourned and without posterity, but I ate some delicious lamb tonight, and that sort of made up for it. Sure, I have to go on a never-ending series of first dates wherein I need to convince my counterparty that I don't, in fact, have severe neuroses, when it is plainly evident that I do, but I ran barefoot on the beach this morning, and that was pretty cool. Sure, I'll never get to teach my kid how to sing the soundtrack to The Phone Call, or count the cows along with Johnny Lingo like my niece Hannah, but I've got Google Reader material to make it through tonight. Sure, I can't remember what it's like to kiss a girl, but I got a business class upgrade on my flight back to the states, and they give out free heated towels, which feel pretty good on your face too. Sure, I just spent the night in a hot tub with a rock star who lives his life touring the country with his guitar-playing wife and programming in the back of their van during the day, but sometimes I get to blog about doing fun things, like participating in a bake-a-thon, or eating some nice cheese.

So yeah, being single rocks. But now it is time for trundle bed.4

1. That is: the couch, or, as some may call it: the dog house.
2. Yes, this is a true story. In my defense, it was a joke. A mind-numbingly bad pun, but a joke nonetheless.
3. Motto: we are the grossest-sounding cereal in the world. Honestly people, did you really think naming a cereal Weetabix was a good idea? I've seen alien species named more appetizingly. Like, what was going through your head? I'm going to make a cereal that sounds like the combination of weevils and bricks?
4. Okay, so it's not technically a trundle bed, but truth has never stopped me from complaining before.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Post Office

If ever I am in need of using up copious amounts of patience from my constantly deepening well, I simply walk to my local post office. Many companies in America worry about efficiency, customer service, et cetera, et cetera. The post office, on the other hand, is run by the government and therefore need not concern itself with such trivial details.

Allow me to describe a prototypical Jeremiah visit to the post office. First, I enter and survey the ambiance. Every post office I have ever been in looks the same. The dingy white tiled floor, the dingy walls, the dingy florescent lights. Fung shui all over.

Next, I go to the counter to address my mail. Yes, that's right, I have been coming to the post office for years on end and I still can't remember to address my mail before I get there. And I am punished severely every time, as hundreds flock to the line while I try to squeeze the extended nine digit zip code into the tiny space I have left for it.

I take my place behind everyone that showed up after me but was thinking ahead of me, and the line creeps along until I am at the front. At which point every postal worker but one takes their ten minute break. There could be 300 people in line, desperately shoving and sobbing, trying to give their money to the post office, but that "Next window please" sign is coming out the millisecond their break starts. It is a simple fact of nature. And they don't take their break in the back room, they just wander around in the shadows, mocking us.

The lone remaining window will be occupied by some poor soul, a postal worker with a customer who, for one reason or another, feels like he must take five minutes to complete his transaction. These are the same people, mind you, that are capable of addressing their mail in advance, yet, when they get to the counter, are incapable of choosing what stamps to get. Oh yeah, pull out the stamp sheet, let's have a look at your current inventory. Fascinating. Oh, wow! There are so many choices! Flowers? Or maybe kittens? Some famous person? How about something seasonal, perhaps, like reindeer? You never know what exciting design they will choose.

The customer is finally wrapping up and I make the mistake of prematurely leaving the head of the line and walking to that window. At which point, every postal worker finishes their ten minute break and starts helping the customers that were behind me. Suddenly, the lone employee, the one that worked while the others played, the one I felt bad for, realizes it's time for her break. "Next window please", BLAM, right in my face.

By this time, my well of patience has run dry, which, if you recall, means the purpose of my visit has been accomplished.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

holiday exercise

The best part about the holiday season is, of course, the free pass you get from exercising. You can't exercise when you're on vacation! You forgot your running shoes! And by forgot, I mean, intentionally didn't pack them so you'd have an excuse not to pick your flabby self up from the couch and your week of non-stop consumption of chocolate!

Many healthy people think this is a bad thing, but this is why God invented ignoring people. It doesn't matter that your sister just ran an Ironman and your other sister just did a twelve mile run wherein her hair, water bottles, and sense of common decency towards the fat members of the family all froze solid, because you're fine just the way you are.1 Fat.

Just kidding! I would never encourage fatness. I would however encourage eating Cadbury Creme Eggs, which might just have that side effect.2

But seriously, do you really need to go exercise right now? I don't understand the incentive to exercise when it's freezing outside. Dude. It's snowing. You get a free pass today, I promise. The sheer weight of the misery of negative temperatures causes normal bodies to double their caloric burn.

But give me whatever crack you're smoking, because if you're at a point where you're willing to go prance around on black ice in negative temperatures instead of hide yourself in mangy blankets and moan for summer, I can't even imagine the things you can accomplish when it's warm and sunny outside.

And yes, I brought my running shoes. But I'm not happy about it.3

1. And I'm so not kidding! Life is not fair. How do I get stuck with the dynamic duo of stamina-soaked sisters? All I want to do is lead a normal life wherein I get to eat brownies for every meal over the holidays, and I get Ms. Triathlon and Mrs. Marathon watching my every calorie, and waking up at 4:45 to go to spinning class. This is also what led to the Airplane Incident, wherein my sister, describing her family to her seatmate, told her she had five brothers, but, and I quote, "my brothers are more like sisters".
2. Though I think those are an Easter-only treat. I ate my first one last year, and I'm pretty sure I'm still on that sugar high. How do chocolatiers live with themselves after creating such delectably-fattifying treats? There is absolutely no way that creme egg is ever going to be expunged from my body. The calories will still be observable on my bones via electron microscope in the year 3010.
3. I'm also not happy about the post being so late this week, my general lack of observance of a schedule for the past month on the blog, and the fact that this week's post is short and semi-sweet, like the chocolate I eat. Let's just pray you're all too busy with family to notice! Happy New Year! The lamest holiday ever!