As they revolve in the Middle East, I resolve not to feast

[ No Comments ] Posted on 02.02.11 in food, resolutions

I have intentionally neglected to write about this until now, for fear that I would peter out two weeks in and have my words come back to haunt my dreams. Now that a month has passed, however, I reckon it’s time to codify this so I can hold myself accountable going forward.

On December 31, 2010, I was browsing my seven years(!) worth of blog entries. One in particular called out to me. Holy crap, I used to weigh 140 pounds? I was little more than a biological paperweight. A bit too skinny, if you ask me. So, I embarked upon a devil-may-care diet consisting mostly of pure grease and self loathing.

Well, six years and 70(!) pounds later, I began to rethink my decision to kneel at the altar of hedonism. After all, I figured, it probably wasn’t helping my prospects of having full intercourse with a woman in this lifetime. Luckily for me, I came to this revelation during resolution season. In the month since I decided not to fill my arteries with pure mayonnaise and doughnut glaze, I’ve lost 10 pounds (I think – I am too cheap to buy a scale, so I weigh myself weekly at the grocery store). I may have passed back onto the right side of 200, which would be a first since about two years ago.

Not that anyone reads this much anymore (I don’t fault you; I rarely update and when I do, it’s senseless drivel that the Internet would probably do better without), but I just wanted to put this out there. That way, if (when) I revert to my old habits, I can look back to this public admission of intent and perhaps regain some perspective on the whole weight issue.

The bikini calendar photo shoot is next week. Wish me luck.

Christmas time was here

[ No Comments ] Posted on 12.29.10 in Christmas, observations, television

I realize it’s sacrilegious to criticize American icons like this, but since no one reads what I write anyway, let’s get down to business.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, while charming, is really terrible.

I understand that part of the allure of gathering the tots around the tube every yuletide is to reflect back upon memories of simpler times while appreciating the historical significance of the cartoon, but c’mon: the production value of the thing is just awful.

Whenever I catch a Charles Shultz biography or similar documentary, they are quick to point out that, in a radical move uncommon to the industry, Charlie Brown cartoons used actual kids rather than grown-up voice actors for the audio track. Neat idea, I guess, but did they have to use the least convincing children on the planet for the job? The lack of trained child voice actors in the heyday of animation results in Shultzian quirks that, thanks to broadcast television’s annual promotion, remain with us to this day: long, awkward pauses; weird voice inflections; and a final speech by Linus that’s delivered so quickly it seems like he has to pee or something.

Also (and this is an aside not solely related to the original Christmas show), using child voiceovers necessitates whole new casts for future iterations of Charlie Brown cartoons. After they air A Charlie Brown Christmas, they air I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! with an entirely different cast. I realize that the latter was made decades after the former and that it would be nearly impossible to use the same cast for both, regardless of age, but something tells me it would be easier to emulate the original voices had they been well composed by professional voice actors. Just my two cents.

However silly these kids sound, though, I still watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year (in all its terrible glory). I don’t know, maybe it’s that I’m a sucker for convention and to watch Peanuts cartoons on major American holidays is the most conventional way a middle class white kid can spend his youth. Maybe my relatively newfound discovery of jazz music has drawn me once again to the cartoon’s soundtrack. Or maybe I just like to watch for the purpose of participating in the greatest of all American pastimes, rampant and unfounded criticism.

Look out for my Christmas post next year, in which I attempt to discern the origins of this new-fangled “Rerun” character. That kid sucks.

Spare some change?

[ No Comments ] Posted on 11.06.10 in complaints, music, observations

I like public broadcasting. I remember when I was young, it seems like every major event occurred with the faint dinging of Mister Rogers’ trolley in the background. I remember when B.J. totally ruined Barney’s show by joining the cast. And I remember the pre- and post- Shari Lewis years.

As I grew up, I moved on to National Public Radio. First, it was Morning Edition in the mornings to keep me awake when I had to rise at 5:00 a.m. for high school, then it was whatever was playing on the station in Gainesville (Science Friday was and is a personal favorite). Now, I listen whenever I think about it since they did away with classical music and switched to jazz in the evenings on WUSF.

Either way, though, I don’t listen as much as I should. It’s not because of a lack of relevant and interesting programming; it’s because they ask for money all the damn time and I’m sick of it.

When one of the weekly pledge drives crops up on my radio, it’s an instant turn off. Whenever one of these events in monotony arrives, it’s all I can do not to imagine Ira Glass in his big, dumb hipster glasses with a tin cup begging for change outside of a 7-11.

I love public radio, but I think there should be a way to give those who actually donate a way to listen to all of their fine programming without degrading yourself and selling tote bags and DVDs for hundreds of dollars. It’s unbecoming.

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