Tag Archives: dieting

Lame Adventure 336: Annual Exams and Future Goals

Recently, I used a half vacation day I had bank-rolled from The Grind on what turned out to be one of the most glorious days of summer in the Big Apple.  It was sunny and warm with low humidity and a welcome breeze.  I felt like I was a in soot-dusted paradise.

Spastically branched tree against clear blue sky.

Unfortunately I had to undergo my annual poking and prodding exam at 10 am.

All aboard and spread ’em.

Of the four women sitting in the waiting room I was the one from the earliest vintage.  In fact, I was the lone dried fruit.  I brought my own reading material, a copy of The New Yorker, since I have no interest in magazines about starting a family or raising children.  Opposite a sign that requests patients to silence their cell phones a woman in her twenties sat obliviously playing a game on her Android that emitted a steady stream of shrill whistles and pops. I tuned her out and proceeded to read a short story written by Alice Munro, Amundsen.  It seems that every year I’m due for this exam The New Yorker publishes one of her exquisitely crafted tales set in Canada, Munro’s homeland.  I no longer need to keep a note in my calendar about when to schedule this appointment.  The telltale reminder will be the publication of yet another bleak yarn authored by Munro.

My concentration was destroyed by a loud, high-pitched child’s voice in the distance repeatedly screaming, “Hi!”  The voice comes closer and the culprit, a rambunctious toddler sporting a head of tight red curls, enters with his entourage — his massively pregnant mother (who makes a mad dash for the bathroom), his father, grandmother and stroller the size of a Smart car.  They must have forgotten to pack the dog, cat, hamster, parrot and goldfish.  In his left hand the tot is holding a toy airplane.  The index finger on his right hand is digging so deep in a nostril I half expect it to wriggle out an ear.  His voice is raspy and I ascertain that he must be recovering from a cold.  He and his posse are on the far side of the waiting room. I say a silent prayer:  stay there Little Germ Factory.

A genius invention.

Even though I arrived fourth, the nurse appears and announces my name first. I reason that this is because I’m essentially dead inside so examining my internal ashes can be completed at warp-speed. If any of the others object that I’ve been elevated to the top of the pecking order, they don’t show it.  I’m so small and quiet, it’s possible that they have mistaken me for an end table.

While waiting for my doctor I photograph the replica Monet on the wall.

Examination room wall art inspired by a funeral home.

I am infinitely more intrigued with the pain intensity scale that’s decorated with emoticons in various stages of pleasure, stress and agony a.k.a. my life story in four words.

No ones laughing out loud in this group.

If I had designed that chart I would have shown the tortured emoticons with their mouths agape screaming silently for the entire neighborhood to not hear.

When my doctor arrives to give me the professional finger I have put my camera away.  We chat briefly.  She asks me the usual questions that prompt the usual lies concluding with:

My Doctor:  Do you exercise?

Me: Yes.

My Doctor:  Really?  You’ve gained weight.  Two pounds.

Me:  I’m sure my metabolism has slowed.

My Doctor: Eat healthier.  Exercise.

Me:  I actually eat very healthy – fruit, vegetables, fish [inaudible muttering] all that sort of boring thing.

My Doctor:  Cut back on the carbs.  Really exercise.  Okay?

I don’t argue.  As I dress to leave I know that she’s right.  Over the course of the next year, not only will I shed the two pounds I’ve so gluttonously gained, I will lose three more.  Yes, I am going to shed two and a half times the pounds I’ve gained over the course of the next 365 days.  Therefore, when I return a year hence, demarcated by The New Yorker publishing yet another downbeat tale quilled by Alice Munro, I will be lean as a whippet.  Losing five pounds is attainable.

See you next year!

On my brisk walk home (this counts as exercise), I’m feeling determined.  Goals are good things.  I will kick-start the new leaner me by going to my grocer’s where I purchase four yogurts.

The Fage yogurt quartet

Then, I eat this.

Fat soloist fresh blueberry scone.

I’ll wrestle this beast of a goal starting tomorrow.

Lame Adventure 299: Pointless Mysteries

Although I’m slightly less spiritual than a tube sock, as I was returning to my Upper West Side garret at Magic Hour after another productive day of clock watching on company time, I looked up at the sky and saw this holy card-style cloud formation.

Cloud porn.

It was the type of cloud-cluster that begs for a soprano singing choir soundtrack as a gigantic Supreme Being hand emerges with a pointed index finger.

This finger is pointing out what – the end is near, the end is far, the end has corporate sponsorship so now it’s negotiable and under contract?  Yet this being Manhattan, a more realistic soundtrack when those clouds part would be wailing sirens as that hand emerges, quickly upturns and flips the bird at the Jaded New Yorkers down below muttering in unison at the insult:

Jaded New Yorkers: Now I’ve seen everything!

After snapping my trademark crummy pictures of the mystical cloud formation, my thoughts drifted in the direction of my other recent encounters with life’s mysteries small and pointless.

Hand-free light shaft.

For example, every year, no matter what the holiday, my building has some pleasant reminder of the event.

Fragrant Easter lily.

This past Friday, I encountered my landlady in the subway station that’s three blocks south from my home base.  In a cheerful tone I declared:

Me:  That’s a lovely lily we have in the lobby!

She looked at me with an expression that translates as follows:

My Landlady:  Who the hell are you?

Then, she walked away.  I’ve been renting an apartment in her 18-unit brownstone for almost 30 years.  Possibly I’m being overly sensitive, but one would think there would be a glimmer of recognition that I’m her tenant by now.

My landlady’s inability to distinguish me from the Town Loon  aside, I’ve entered my annual spring funk.  My birthday is approaching soon and friends and family are frequently reminding me about it.  Over the weekend my father called and bleated enthusiastically:

My Father:  I can’t believe you’re gonna be (ickity) four!  How did that happen?

Me:  (Ickity) four happens next year!  Right now, this minute, I’m still (ickity) two!

[Insert awkward pause here.]

My Father:  At least you’ve never been fat.

That’s true but as my metabolism downshifts, I’m not feeling as svelte as I used to.  I’m developing a bit of a paunch and from certain angles in states of undress, I’m looking marsupial.  I know I need to exercise more and it would also behoove me to eat less crap and guzzle less beer.  Over the weekend, I wanted potato chips, but I decided to get the 40% reduced fat variety and limit myself to the recommended serving of just 20 chips, but who ever eats such a puny amount, much less buys the reduced fat version?

Bet you can't eat just 20.

To psyche myself into doing so, I reasoned that I must think as if I’m lost in the woods and I’m obligated to make these rations last to survive.

What 20 chips look like in a bowl with a sneaker.

What 20 chips look like in a bowl sans sneaker.

Then I thought:

Me (thinking):  Who am I kidding?  I’m in an apartment in the heart of Manhattan and I want to pound a high octane beer with these chips.

Yet, I practiced some restraint as I proceeded to inhale my 20 chips in one gulp like an anteater on steroids.  Thanks to my remarkable willpower combined with Mad Men being the only show worth watching on TV, I have yet to chow down the rest of the bag.

Last week at work, after finishing a 16-ounce tea chased with a 10-ounce cup of water, this flood of hydration nearly ruptured my bladder.

Chug a lug.

Fortunately, I could easily win Olympic gold if there was a competition for hightailing from my office to the bathroom in breaking the sound barrier time.  I switched on the light and saw an orchid, a gift to my boss, Elsbeth, soaking in the sink.

"Can a plant have some privacy around here?"

Tortured, I raced back to my office and announced to my superior:

Me:  Your orchid is soaking in the sink!

Elsbeth:  Oh!  I put it there!


Me (screaming inside my head):  Why are you doing this to me when I need to take a piss worthy of a herd of farm animals?

Me (speaking through gritted teeth):  I figured.

Remarkably, Elsbeth heard the earlier unasked question.  She moved the orchid quickly solving at least one more of my life’s pointless mysteries.  Now the orchid is sitting on the sink.

The bathroom orchid.