Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Trashing those decluttering fads

2 clever quips

Is there anything quite so American as the drive to accumulate stuff? The “he who has the most toys when he dies, win” mentality isn’t a modern phenomenon. Our forefathers had Manifest Destiny; your grandmother had those creepy Hummel figurines.
It comes as no surprise our national obsession to have more, more, more sporadically battles the reality that our homes only have room for less, less, less. This revelation originated with 19th century philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who mused, “Simplify, simplify, simplify! Start with your cable TV package.” The brilliant backwoodsman was ahead of his time but, alas, lousy with marketing and body odor.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What's so happy about a new year, anyway?

0 clever quips
champagne cork popping
Every early January, as I watch the Christmas tree drop needles like a DJ on meth, I find myself wondering the same thing: Is anyone ever sad to see the old year go? Because, to me, the start of a new year is fairly depressing.
Those final days of December are regularly filled with a single sentiment from friends and strangers online and IRL: “Thank God that awfulness will soon be over! Don’t let the door hit you in your fat, ugly stern, old year. The new one has got to be better!” After weeks of jaunty carols relentlessly assaulting our ears to the point where German death metal becomes a welcome change, I can somewhat understand that sentiment.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

As the fat burns ... through my bank account

5 clever quips
man sits on weight bench at gym

Terror grips my every fiber whenever my wife opens a conservation with me using the phrase, “What do you know about …”

Her inquiry is almost never about something I:

a) actually do know something about, or
b) would like to discuss such as
     1) third-string catchers in New York Mets history, or
     2) what’s better for list making: letters or numbers?

But my pre-Google reputation for being a fount of useless knowledge, second only to my ability to tap a keg, was one of the charms she found irresistible in our initial courtship, so she keeps trying.

“What do you know,” she inquired shortly after New Year’s Day, “about PineappleHypothesis?”

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Allergic to Middle Age

2 clever quips

I’ve always thought myself to be fairly well prepared for and accepting of the inevitable breakdown of my body once I staggering into middle age a decade ago.

Thinning hair. Check.

Thickening middle. Double check.

Achy joints and muscles. I’m sore just thinking about them.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Modern Dad's Father's Day: Stereotypes v. Realities

0 clever quips

modern father's day means playing with the kids, not playing golf

Another Father’s Day comes this way along with another round of the usual jokes about grilling, golfing and neckties. Not in these parts, though.

It’s the 21st century, people. Let’s stop with the mid-20th century stereotypes and find some fun in today’s modern dad – a guy who knows his role in parenting today is far greater than bringing home a paycheck then settling into an easy chair for a pipe, the evening news and a dry martini.

Let's review the stereotypes about dads and the modern-day realities:

Monday, April 22, 2019

Recycling redemption one nickel at a time

0 clever quips
recycling bottle at redemption machine

My first job in the workforce focused on profiling and segregation.

I spent much of my 16th year in the dank underground of a supermarket, determining whether the bottles and cans returned for a nickel deposit really came from our store. Those that didn’t were pitched in the trash; those that did were separated by material and color then stacked or bagged for recycling.

Nothing felt physically good about this work. Certainly not the sticky soda residue that inevitably coated my skin and clothes or the stench of stale beer that remained in my nasal membranes for hours past quitting time. However, it was somewhat satisfying psychologically. I was literally on the  basement floor of a burgeoning environmental and financial movement. Our state's “bottle bill” had been in place only a few years at the time and already a difference could be seen. Fewer empties lined our state’s roadsides replaced by garbage-bag-toting fortune seekers.


My Uncool Past