Lame Adventure 397: Pass on the Appetizers

When I stepped out to run an errand, much to my surprise what did I see lying on the sidewalk but a nose. Upon closer inspection I realized my eyes were playing tricks on me because I had actually mistaken three carrots angled funny in a sandwich bag for a proboscis.

These carrots looked a lot less orange without the flash.

These carrots looked a lot less orange without the flash.

An obvious mistake anyone not anticipating an encounter with stray carrots would have made.

On the topic of food, eating season starts this Thursday,  that time of year between Thanksgiving, or for readers who prefer, Thanksgivakkah (since this holiday coincides with the first day of Hanukkah), and New Years. Due to my gastroenterologist’s recommendation, I’m assigned to start losing the equivalent of a bowling ball and seven bananas in flab. The timing of this advised weight loss goal during the most food-filled weeks of the year creates a conflict for me. But, this Turkey Day, I am determined to practice self-control. I will consciously refrain from duplicating the year when I was a barnacle to the appetizer table where I inhaled a dozen deviled eggs and a glut of prawns washed down with a liter of martinis, prior to entering a coma during the main course, but reviving in time for pie. Forgive me for waxing sentimental.

This is also the season when one has to start thinking about gift giving. I am of modest means so I can afford more thinking than giving, but I have ticked one important Christmas gift off my list for a very dear relation. While shopping in my local Duane Reade for twine I could not locate, possibly because I was wandering aimfully in the pet toy section, I saw a talking Mr. Magoo — the perfect present for my sister’s pooch, Thurber.

"Hello Thurber!"

“Hello Thurber!”

As for everyone else in my family, if I cannot get whatever I’m giving them via the Internet, they’re not getting it from me. This is the time of year when my shopping standards kick in ferociously and I am solidly adhered. You could sooner move the George Washington Bridge with a feather than could you sooner dislodge me from my spending season policy. I only enter brick and mortar stores for the basic tools of survival: food, alcohol and flavored lubricant.

Back to this pressure to de-flab myself sooner than later, it is something I am taking extremely seriously. So seriously that I was compelled to finally remove my spin bike from the shipping box I received it in four weeks ago Tuesday. It was such a surgical procedure; it took one sixth of a day to complete.

Tightly packed.

Tightly packed.

Muscling out heavy duty staplers. Hit self in head twice, but only suffered a single concussion.

Muscling out heavy duty staples. Hit self in head twice, but only suffered a loss of consciousness once.

Sliced open box.

Sliced open box.

Supplied wrench that temporarily went AWOL.

Supplied wrench that temporarily went AWOL.

Three hours later, finally getting somewhere.

An eight of a day later, finally getting somewhere.

End result.

End result.

With my newfound experience extricating such a cumbersome and heavy object, I have likely attained the prowess to dissect an elephant with an X-Acto knife. If that pays better than what I’m currently making labeling tile, sign me up.

Putting my spin bike together took about a quarter hour including the five minutes I spent looking for and cursing at the wrench that went missing when it slipped under my bed.  Later that evening I met Milton.

Milton: You’ve started spinning?

Me: No. But I finally took my bike out of that box the size of Texas and I assembled it. That was a workout and a half.

Milton: It shows.

That compliment bolstered my confidence. In fact it got me through the next three days when every muscle in my body ached horrifically. The pain during my recovery from removing my spin bike from its box also caused a seismic shift in my fantasizing. Gone were the Technicolor dreams of intimacy with blind-folded vixens willing to pick up the tab. My thoughts went completely decadent and I dreamed of being chauffeured to and from The Grind in an ambulance, an expense that was fully covered by my crummy health insurance.

Soon, the spin shoes and cleats I recently ordered from Zappos should arrive. Then I will no longer have any excuses left to delay jump starting my sole New Years’ resolution in December. In preparation, I have read all of my spin bike’s how-to manuals cover to cover. They’re multi-purpose; they also put me to sleep. I suppose there’s no way to get around actually riding the spin bike to achieve the dual goals of weight loss and “ultimate energy”. Cutting back on ultimate eating this holiday season is probably a good starting point.

Spin bike manuals and DVDs. Cookies sold separately.

Spin bike manuals and DVDs. Dark Chocolate star cookies sold separately.

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85 responses to “Lame Adventure 397: Pass on the Appetizers

  1. Glad to see you got the bike out and you’re committed to remove some flab. Imwouldntry setting the goal at a banana a week and by the end of the winter you can work on the PBA equipment’s worth of excess poundage.

    The other parts of your article, aside from the temporarily MIA Allen Wrench, were (in no particular order): Mr. Magoo, a liter of martinis and, of course, the flavored lube.

    Best of luck on your quest.

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  2. Oh yeah, I’m glad you went with nose instead of the other thing that can look like a carrot in low light.

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  3. ‘Good job’ he said catching his breath after reading your account. Be sure to place the dark choc cookies near enough so they don’t break your stride while pedaling.

    Your elephant dissection remark made me think of this TV show. Try one. 🙂
    http://video.pbs.org/program/inside-natures-giants/

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  4. Congrats on getting the bike out the box, V. It looks quite fancy! And Thurber will love Mr. Magoo, I’m sure. Pictures please, when he gets his present. He’s such a cute dog!

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    • Thanks Cathy. The bike is multipurpose: to get me back in shape, to hang my messenger bag and scarves and to lure “special guests” into my lair with this winning invitation: “Hey baby, wanna take a spin on my spin bike? Let’s play gym in my casa.” A line best said with a berry seed planted in the center of my front teeth.

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  5. Ok, I get the food, alcohol and flavored lubricant, but what was the twine for? Love that pooch toy — Baxter and Sophie would love it. (my pups). We adults have stopped the gift-giving thing in our families. I’ll usually give moolah to the kids since I never know what to get them. Kudos for getting your spin bike out — imagine if it would’ve been from Ikea — you’d still be assembling and cursing fiercely at the directions.

    Those martinis sound good. V. Happy spinning and Thanksgiving.

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    • Brig, the twine is for bundling up for the recycler the years’ worth of New Yorkers lying around my humble abode. Spring cleaning starts in winter by me. I have never even been in Ikea. There’s not one on Manhattan island so that’s the rest of the explanation why. I’ve never even been to Staten Island in the 31+ years I’ve lived out here. One day I’ll go there with Milton or Coco. It’s on my bucket list; what I can afford.

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  6. I love the Mr. Magoo doll. We’re both nearsighted and I’m mostly deaf, which makes for some interesting conversations. I felt like I had a workout just scrolling through the photos of you unpackaging and assembling the spin bike. I’m afraid it’s going to take at least two or three pies to get my strength back. I admire your willpower.

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    • Hey Russell, I’m nearsighted and hard of hearing, too! We should call ourselves The Magoos — start a not-so-secret society! I truly wanted a full body cast for the three days it took me to heal after assembling that bike. I’ll probably need to take up residency in the ICU once I start spinning regularly.

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  7. Somewhere, 3 snowmen are missing noses….

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  8. Congrats on the finding the Magoo doll and for getting the bike ready to go. Meanwhile, you may find some gift ideas here. http://store.theonion.com/

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  9. Given your love for the theater, here’s a song for the season for your spinning warm up … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR1K3HfiVPo

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  10. You can do it! I hear yah. I’ve been on an eating extravaganza since march and am confined to stretchy pants. As the cool weather rolls in, I am longing to fit in my jeans and just to feel sexy and unbloated again. It’s a bad time of year, yes. But the greatest holiday gift I can give to myself is also the most self respecting and loving… I’d rather feel good than sick and lethargic from far too much junk.

    I believe if you are serious and committed as you appear to be, you will reach your goal.

    I know the pounds will melt away even quicker than they appeared to reveal your true lightness of spirit!

    Happy Holidays,
    Lindsey

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  11. I’m here to tell you, assembly is the hardest part. It’s all downhill from here, my friend. And are you sure the dark chocolate star cookies are sold separately? I’d heard, here in Ecuador at least, it was a package deal.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    • The only thing I had to chew on in that box, Kathy, was a copious amount of Styrofoam which as you surely know, has the same consistency as rice cakes, but considerably more flavor.

      I hope you’re right that the hardest part is over, but I have a creeping suspicion that that’s the part that comes next: using it.

      Hugs from the Big Apple, buddy!
      V

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  12. Johnny G, who “invented” spinning, was once my cycling coach in LA. True Story.
    it’s fun…I love spinning. great way to get in shape.

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    • Not to be confused with my 92 year old father or 21 year old son. Unless there’s royalties involved with using the name Spin Class. In that case my attorney, Moe Diligent, will be sending out a letter on our behalf.

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    • I just check out Johnny G in Wikipedia. “He is married to Jodi and has three children: son Jason and two daughters Jackie and Jordan.” It was probably thanks to your J-name, Jules, that he coached you. Let’s hope I learn to love spinning, too. I’m certainly available to love something these days — and maybe more so when I get back in shape.

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  13. Nice going….tipping off Thurber….you never heard of keeping a secret?

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  14. I need to motivate myself to be good this holiday season as well.

    Don’t you just hate when you wack yourself in the head?

    Thurber’s gift reminded me to pull out Mr Magoo’s Christmas carol…. Awesomeness

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    • I hate it even more when I ring my own bell twice.

      My favorite holiday cartoon is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. When Chuck Jones debuted his animated special on network TV in 1966, I thought, “Finally! A Christmas cartoon I can relate to!” Hey, I was sap-averse from birth.

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  15. Wait–they have special shoes for spinning? God, I admire the brilliant men and women who work in advertising. Is Zappos sending a pair of Mall-Walkers as well?

    First of all, I’m delighted that you opened the exercise bike on your terms, and that doing so provided an excellent workout. I’m amazed that you were able to put it together so quickly. I’m pretty inept when it comes to those things.

    Christmas shopping (or any shopping, really) drives me up the wall. Crowds, noise, rudeness, decisions, products, products, products! You know, one of the neat, unadvertised benefits of marriage is that the only person in the world I have to shop for any more is my wife. I overachieved.

    You’ve mentioned your dog-nephew Thurber before, and it never occurred to me until now, but given your predilection for pseudonyms, I suppose Thurber might not actually be his real name, although I hope it is. Please tell me that Thurber isn’t really Bandit.

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    • Bandit is the name of my brother, Axel’s cat. For real Smak. As for Thurber’s real name, if he has a real name [insert loud sigh here] … You don’t want to know. He’s Thurber here and isn’t here a much more comfortable place than there, wherever there is? Okay, this is as philosophical as I get.

      It is possible that I will do future posts on spinning where I will address the issue of spin shoes, but yes, they’re highly recommended because they lock into the pedals. Since I do not want to take on this project — getting back into shape — half ass, I went whole ass and invested in the gear, too, in the hopes of narrowing the expansion of my actual ass.

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  16. Oh yay! Your new clothes hanger and towel rack is assembled. Well done.

    Bonus points on the Mr. Magoo doll for Thurber. That would be a winner in my house. Reggie approves of any toys that squeak. He’s very discerning that way.

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    • Thanks for the vote of confidence in my spinning endeavors. The Mr. Magoo doll is a very good deal at Duane Reade. They also have Mr. Bubble and Mr. Bill. I gave Mr. Bill to Thurber for Christmas three or four years ago. It’s an entire series of misters they’re hawking over there. None of them squeak, but Mr. Bubble makes bubbly sounds. Thurber was a bit freaked out by Mr. Bill at first. The “Oh Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!” did a number to his head, but he does not seem to be suffering any signs of PTSD.

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  17. A friend of mine recently told me she’s had an elliptical exercise machine for ten years now and no one in her family has ever used it. She’s getting tired of dusting it. What I want to know is, who dusts? Like Phyllis Diller used to say about housework, “Why bother? Six months from now you have to do it all over again.” Happy turkey day, by the way!

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  18. That’s a tough order from the doc, but if anyone can kick Thanksgiving’s ass it would be a tough New Yorker like you. I mean you put that bike together … that totally deserves some kind of reward. Good luck on your quest to practice self-control on T-Day…and thanks for your kind words. You’re a totally pick-me-up 🙂

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  19. You need special shoes for your bike. I would be out right there. I hate buying shoes. Would go barefoot if my feet were so tender.

    And congrats on getting the bike out and set up. I was tired just reading about it and looking at the photos. Now my backs sore. Might have to go for a massage.

    And does your doctor hate you? Lose weight during the holiday season. We don’t do Thanksgiving here, but I have already started binging on food for the season. Went to Winterfest and loaded up on German sausage and beer. Maybe I should hop on the spin bike thing–but I don’t have the right shoes.

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  20. I just purchased a pair of spin shoes after trying a spin class twice without them, your description of the Texas sized box was funny. No thanks, I’ll just use the bike at LA Fitness.

    Keep going, more carrots are out there.

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    • Hey Anita, thanks for the time to share some positive reinforcement about my current adventure. I bike at LA Fitness, too — Lame Adventures Fitness located in my sanctum sanctorum! So basically, I have to look at that bike every day, and that obligates me to start using it sooner than later. The shoes arrived today, so I’m out of excuses.

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  21. Snoring Dog Studio

    No doubt you lost at least 100 calories assembling the beast. I have to walk past my rowing machine every time I get out of my car in the garage. It pains me and I bet that burns off only about 10 calories. I hereby join your journey to lose the flab. I’ll keep you updated. We can be weight loss buddies from afar. I won’t report about the amount of pumpkin pie I’m going to consume tomorrow.

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    • The assembly wasn’t bad. The instructions were clear, it came with all the necessary tools and no parts needed to be forced to fit. Getting it out of the box was the three hour challenge that resulted in three days of recovery requiring a morphine drip. This is definitely not the time of year to go spa cuisine. Enjoy that pie!

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  22. I’m glad that you recognize that putting the thing together counts for something. Whenever I go shopping for tennis shoes, I count the walk from my car to the shoe store as a workout. Obvious.

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    • I’m with you on that! How many times a day do you pick up C? There’s your daily live wire weight lifting quota especially when she’s reciting her new favorite word. I seem to recall it’s “no” these days, possibly because brevity is the soul of wit and all tots are natural comedians, right?

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  23. It’s taken me nearly as long to get around to reading this as it did you to open the box and assemble your spin bike, V. Just overwhelmed with mundane stuff. I got my holiday exercise this season by carrying my 8-ft artificial Christmas tree down out of the attic and setting it up. It comes in four heavy, unwieldy sections. After assembling it, stringing the lights and turning them on, I ascended the ladder to place my angel on top. As I reached across the tree to find a suitable branch for her, I held onto the ceiling while the lights of the wobbling tree made the ceiling appear to be spinning. My hasty placement of the angel makes her look tipsy. I think I should have drunk a glass of wine before this undertaking. Why is decorating my tree so much harder now than it was 10 years ago?

    I want to see a sound video of Thurber playing with his new Mr. Magoo. 🙂

    Like

  24. Pingback: I Hate My ___________ | Brigitte's Banter

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