Phil & Rosco Celebrate the Holidays

ROSCO:  So when you coming over to watch the game?

PHIL: We’re coming around 4.

ROSCO:  The fondue’ll be ready by then.

PHIL: I got you a gift.

ROSCO: Really?

PHIL: Yeah.

ROSCO:  But I didn’t get you anything.

PHIL:  That’s fine.  You’re hosting the party.

ROSCO:  Now I’m all excited.

PHIL: Good.

ROSCO:  What is it?

PHIL:  I’m not going to tell you.  You’ll just have to wait.

ROSCO:  Is it a pony?

PHIL:  Haha, you’re funny –

ROSCO:  A pink pony?

PHIL:  I’m not saying –

ROSCO:  So it is a pony?

PHIL:  I said –

ROSCO: It’s not a pony?

PHIL:  I –

ROSCO:  Is it an otter?

PHIL: Ros –

ROSCO:  Is it a robot?

PHIL:  Stop –

ROSCO: A pink pony-riding robot otter?

PHIL: What?

ROSCO:  ROBOT OTTERS!

PHIL:  They don’t even make those.

ROSCO:  Then how could you get me one?

PHIL: I didn’t get you one!  Those don’t exist!

ROSCO:  HA HA!

PHIL:  What?

ROSCO:  I’m whittling down the list of things you didn’t get me.  I’ll know soon what you got me.

PHIL:  Jesus.

ROSCO:  You might as well tell me what you got me.

PHIL:  I’ll be there in two hours, you can’t wait?

ROSCO:  Tell me!

PHIL:  No!

ROSCO:  Is it butter?

PHIL:  I’m hanging up.

ROSCO:  Is it slippers?

PHIL:  See you in a couple of hours.

ROSCO: Is it yak fur-lined slippers made of butter?

PHIL:  Good-bye. *Click*

ROSCO:  It is, isn’t it?

Diet: Food – Fiber

Wow, my 150th post.  Almost half a year of daily posts.  I tell you, it’s felt like climbing a great big fucking mountain posting original material every single day, a dangerous mountain filled with bears of writer’s block, moose of bad humor and mountain lions of . . . scariness.  I never thought I would be able to keep the blog going this long, but that’s mostly because I never thought I’d live this long.  So let me take a deep breath and gaze upon my journey thus far.

Okay, so it’s not as impressive as a full year of daily posts, but I’m still proud.  I’m doing my damnedest to touch, educate and entertain you, my faithful and most beautiful readers, and I’m going to try to continue to do so for as long as I can and on a regular basis.
And speaking of being regular . . .Fiber.  Nature’s broom.  The supreme diuretic.  The intestinal Heave-Ho.  The stomach’s eject button.  The place where time and toilet converge.  The noble betrayer.  The noisy elephant.

I'll admit, I made some of those up.

More than any other food on my list of necessities, fiber is the one that is usually the most misunderstood because it causes us to poop and pooping is something not everyone is comfortable with talking about in polite conversation.

" . . . and I was pushing so hard, I burst a blood vessel in my eye . . ."

I should probably put down the pictures and start writing.  Besides the pooping, the biggest reason people don’t get fiber is because we’re not taught what fiber really is.  Do you know what fiber looks like?  When I say the word fiber, the picture that probably forms in your mind is a bran muffin, or maybe some prunes, or perhaps a chunk of dead, dried wood.  For me, it was the one scene in “Ace Venture: Pet Detective” where Ace is confronted by his landlord and asked why he has all this pet food if he doesn’t have animals in his apartment.  To which Ace replies, “Fiber.”  You can see how this image of fiber being pet food made me kind of want to run away from the stuff as fast as I could, but you can’t run from fiber because the truth is much larger than all of those examples.

Fiber is the portion of plants that our bodies can not digest.  Our digestive systems lack the enzymes that would break down fiber and turn it into energy, and so fiber either speeds through our system or just takes a seat for awhile in our tummies.  This means that every time you eat something that was grown from a seed buried in the earth, you are eating fiber.  All (ALL) fruits, vegetables, raw grains and seeds have fiber in them.  When you think of it like this, you’ll realize people have been trying to get you to eat fiber your entire life, you just didn’t know it.  But what have I said?  This weight-loss thing has to start with understanding, so here is a crash course to help you get to know fiber.

Fiber = Carbohydrates

I hate to tell all you low-carb nuts out there, but all the plants and fruits you eat are primarily made up of carbohydrates, the difference being that the carbs in all those plants are fiber.  The good news is that since fiber can not be absorbed by our bodies like other carbs it can not be stored as fat.  But this also means your body can’t convert fiber into energy, so you’re still going to need that piece of bread.

There are Two Kinds of Fiber

Much like there are two kinds of carbohydrates (simple and complex), there are also two kinds of fiber, and each is important.  The first, and the kind that we think of when talking about fiber, is insoluble fiber.  These kinds of fiber do not soak up any water while they are in your body, which means they just pass right on through your system taking anything in its way along with it.  This is the so-called “Nature’s Broom”, and it adds bulk to your stool while at the same time making it softer so it’s easy to pass.

Passing one of these is no fun. TRUST ME.

But it’s not just about “making you regular” as the process also helps clean out your colon and any gunk that may have been sitting there for who knows how long.  Sources high in insoluble fiber include whole grains, wheat, corn, nuts, seeds, potato and tomato skins, and most green vegetables.  Consuming these on a regular basis will not only help keep you healthy and your system clear, but is will also make that  most dirtiest of dirty acts that we all must do everyday be as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Listen, I’m sorry, I tried, but there is literally no metaphor or simile, no adjectives, that I could have used that would not have been rendered absolutely disgusting in the previous sentence.

The other kind of fiber is soluble fiber, and this stuff is amazing.  Unlike it’s speedy brother, soluble fiber does soak up water, which causes it to turn into this sticky jelly-like substance that moves slowly through our system.  It is the tortoise to insoluble fiber’s hare, and it definitely wins the race of benefits.  It can help prevent cardiovascular disease, lowers cholesterol and may help prevent certain cancers (the gut and the booty kind of cancers).  But its biggest benefit is that because it is sticky and moves so slowly through our system, it changes the way our body absorbs minerals and other nutrients, most prominently glucose (sugar).  By slowing the rate at which our bodies absorb sugar, soluble fiber helps regulate the glucose and insulin levels in your blood, and can fight off diabetes.  Foods that are high in soluble fiber are oatmeal, broccoli, legumes, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and onions, and many fruits including bananas and apples.

Fiber is an Ultimate Diet Food

No matter which kind it is, eating fiber provides one enormous benefit to people trying to lose weight in that it helps increase food volume without adding to your caloric intake.  In layman’s terms, it helps fill you up without making you fatter.  A bowl of oatmeal, albeit taken plain, will fill up your stomach without loading you up with calories.  It’s why eating salads while losing weight is so good: it will sate your appetite while providing a ton of nutrients while not expanding your waistline.  And just to sweeten the package even more, soluble fiber actually slows the emptying of the stomach, letting you feel full for a longer period of time.  Add some protein which also increases food volume without adding too many calories to the party, like chicken, and you’ll be punching anyone in the face trying to offer you seconds.

"I said, 'I don't want any more of your delicious food'!"

So eat it up, people.  Your inner elephant wants to get noisy.

I’d Like To Thank All The Little, Little, Little People (Who Live In My Head And Tell Me To Do Things)

Come one, come . . .  a few more!  During this holiday season in which I am going to more holiday functions than I ever have before (there have been three or four Christmas parties in this past week alone), I have found myself receiving gifts that are beyond my expectations.  One was from an aunt of mine who gave me an entire turkey dinner in a box, with a whole frozen (but pre-cooked) turkey, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and that cranberry jelly stuff that I always spend  twenty minutes prodding with a spoon but never get around to eating.  If you have never gotten meat as gift from a family member, let me tell you something:  It’s fucking weird.  One aunt once came over just to give me three Cornish game hens.  My mother once sent me a care package that was full of sausages.  All these things were delicious, and they know I love to cook so it’s not that abstract, I have just never been able to tell some one, “Yeah, my mom sent me these sausages via the United States Postal Service,” without feeling like I should be in a Coen brothers movie.

"Vee have some sausage dat dein mother sent from Arizona, jah?"

The other gift (other than that wonderful cold hard cash of awesomeness that only grandmothers can give) was I have been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award! 

The nomination comes from the Funny or Tragic, a blog filled with enough dark humor to make you feel okay about sitting in the dark alone, laughing like a maniac.  From a new take on cattle prods, to this wonderful post about boobs, Funny or Tragic is filled with hilarious musings and colorful cartoons.

And now I have to pass this award to five to fifteen people, as it’s one of the rules.  The other rules are that you have to inform your nominees of the nomination, while providing a link to the person who nominated you along with your thanks.  Then you have to tell seven random things about yourself and post up that little green picture.  This is going to be hard as I’m not sure I know more than eight people in my life all together (one of whom is me looking in the mirror).  But it’s also a good thing as I had no idea what I was going to post today and was too lazy to figure something out.

RANDOM THINGS

1. I shave my toes, except for the two biggest.
2. I don’t remember names. Not that I can’t, but I tend not to care about a person’s name. I find it is always easier just to look into a person’s eyes and say, “Hey. How is everything going?” This works, 100% of the time, and no one seems to mind.
3. My favorite nut is hazelnut because it tastes woody. My favorite wood is sandalwood, because it smells nutty.
4. I name inanimate objects like my stapler (Milton) or my three-hole punch (Norman), and I regard them as important friends/allies. I deduced I do this because I was lonely for my entire childhood.

FRIENDS!

5. I judge the space of my apartments by how well I can safely do I cartwheel in them. (i.e. – My apartment is two and half cartwheels big.)
6. I have a desperate need to own a three-toed sloth, which I would name Couscous.  I also want a manatee, but I don’t know what I’d name him.  Maybe Filbert.

Or Gerald Puffybottom.

7. I could never make up my mind which candy bar to buy when I was in the grocery store, and stopped buying candy altogether because the indecision was driving me nuts.

NOMINEES

This is the really hard part as I end up not reading many blogs.  After work and creating my post of the day once I get home, all I want to do is sit back, drink some whiskey and watch Monty Python.  Add to that the few I do read I’m sure have already been nominated, and I don’t want to look like the blogging-newbie I am.  Plus this whole exercise (while being part fad) also is about introducing new bloggers to more people, so I don’t want to end up repeating.  But here are five blogs I am always eager to read:

A Man Chasin’ His Hat

From intriguing articles about the new generations and how the changes in culture are sculpting their behavior, to crazy short stories involving metaphysics, psychology and robots, A Man Chasin’ His Hat is a place of brain candy.  Smart enough to almost be considered nerdy and abstract enough to almost be nonsense, it’s always a delight to read and ponder over.  Some of my favorite posts are It’s Like Some Kind of Torture and Reverse Doppler.  It’s hard to properly describe this blog; the closest I can get is saying it’s like Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land – It’s crazy and sometimes a little confusing, but 100% fun.

Die Umlat

Have you been fired recently?  Have you had any luck finding a new job?  Have you been burned by internet scams and horrid job recruiters?  Do you like some truly underground music?  Then head on over to Die Umlat, where you can read all the war stories from the wounded in the “Seeking Employment” front.  From her weekly posts of actual job scams used on craigslist, to her own experiences coping with unemployment, you get to feel a slice (or in a lot of peoples’ case, get to share it) of one of America’s hugest populations right now.  She also has posts reliving musical moments from her childhood, or introducing new and upcoming artists, reviews of some new restaurants and other articles concerning whatever pops into her head.

Nerdy Baker

I started following Nerdy Baker before I actually read one of the posts.  The big picture I saw of some homemade cheese-toast was enough to have me going back to the beginning and reading every post she had.  Also, the title of the blog is pitch perfect as I also like to cook and am probably more of a nerd than I feel comfortable with admitting.  Two of my favorite, most cheesy-bread-filled glorious posts from her are Here We Go, Sourdough! and Pull Apart Cheesy Herb Bread.  She also provides links that would sate the nerd in anyone, and her writing is down-to-earth, funny and delightful.

Sets and Lights

Having gone to an arts school and gotten my Bachelors in Theatre (an absolutely useless degree), a piece of my heart will always belong onstage.  Sets and Lights helps bring me back into that world with minimal effort, which is probably why I like it.  It discusses a lot of issues with the technical side of theatre, an industry and workforce that has always gone unnoticed and forgotten despite being the reliable backbone of us poofy actors onstage. If you ever wanted to hear what working a live theatrical show is like, tune into and read of few of his posts.  It’ll make you feel like you standing backstage, wearing all black and waiting for the actor to hit their cue so you can start the music, hit the programmed light sequence and start closing the curtain.

The Thirsty Wench

Another blog I just started following without really reading a post first.  Beer?  Yes, I’ll follow you, and with vigor!  A blog dedicated to all things having to do with that wonderdrink, The Thirsty Wench helps take you through an introduction to beer to reviews of some more crafty-beers.  It’s a blog devoted to getting you to drink, and she deserves a medal for even attempting such a mission from God.

So there you go; five blogs I love and that I think you should start reading too.  I just hope they haven’t been nominated yet, or I’m gonna feel like such a tool.  One of those tools that looks silly and is completely obsolete now.

Like this.

And I’m almost to my 150th post.  I’m actually astounded the blog has lasted this long, as posting every single day can really be a pain in the ass sometimes.  But I’m going to keep at it, at least for the first year, after which I’ll probably die down on the number of posts in lieu of creating longer, more complex and more engaging works.  That’s still around 200 posts away however, so things won’t be changing anytime soon.

Thanks once again to Funny or Tragic for the nomination, and congrats to all of those who were nominated.  TO FRIENDSHIP!!!

No, not those ones.