On Nutrition

13 March, 2011

How To Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Protein

Step 1: Buy large bag of Peanut M&M

(A past-due bag of recent holiday candy works best. Shopping in this frugal way will make your binge eating more guilt-free.)

Step 2: Acknowledge cause for what you define as ’emotional eating,’ what other people might just call a heaping pile of bad luck.

Step 3: Eat large bag of Peanut M&Ms over the course of a few days (no more than 3)

Step 4: Feel your energy soar!

Diet Tool #1

ps: like what you see? head over to howtomakeirrationaldecisions.tumblr.com for more ill-advised hi-jinx and hilarity.

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Is it the trolls?

7 March, 2011

This whole Charlie Sheen debacle has highlighted the hard work of the make-up artists on “Two And A Half Men.”

Sheeny

hello
My beloved ,

My name is Anita
i saw your contact today on my search for a nice person and decided to write to you,I hope to start a very
cordial and lasting friendly relationship with you that will be beneficial to
both of us in the nearest future.I will tell you more about myself and also send my
pictures to you after receiving your response.Please do not neglect a humble and lonely heart that seeks for your relationship.

Yours sincerely,
Anita

I wish I knew why I delight so in getting these strange, spammed email propositions for my friendship and affection.

Perhaps it’s because it is fun to believe that if such a thing existed, I would appear in search results for “a nice person.”

Or maybe it’s because I enjoy being addressed as “My beloved.”

It could also be that I am grateful to finally to meet in Anita another humble and lonely heart like mine.

But more likely, it’s the grammatical mistakes in these emails that charms me so.

x

On geekiness

13 August, 2010

For the past few months, I’ve been taking a continuing education course in Typography, and it feels so good to finally have validation for my sincere love of all things related to letters. I’ve even found my own affection for typography downright dwarfed by other people’s obsession with the world of typefaces and word-spacing. I dream of em dashes, ascenders and descenders, and I am happy.

I fear I may have recently stumbled into irreversible typography geek territory though, as I was working on a simple kerning homework assignment. The assignment was to typeset my name in UPPERCASE, lowercase and Title Case in several different typefaces, all properly kerned. I find these assignments are completely zen, therapeutic, on the verge of religious.

As I kerned to my heart’s content, I found myself humming, and at first paid no attention to the tune, until I heard myself singing. So far away… Doesn’t anybody stay in one place, anymore? I froze. I was singing Carole King to the letters in my name, as I nudged them nearer to each other to create the perfect letterspaced fit. In retrospect, I was probably crooning to the ‘y’ as I inched it a fraction of a millimeter at a time closer to the ‘d’ that precedes it. (The poor ‘y’ is constantly left dangling alone at the end of my name, like a lone, cold foot that sticks out of the covers, forgotten. Get in there, little ‘y.’ Keep warm with the first four letters of my name.)

As I was recovering from the realization that I was singing folk tunes to a computer screen, I thought about how the letters in my name – all 19 of them (plus 2 word spaces) – fit together. As I kerned them in Clarendon, I hated them. When I kerned them in Bodoni Poster Italic, I loved them enormously. I realized then that should I ever have children, the decision of what to name them, a process which already would likely take the entire nine months prior to their birth, would be further complicated by the requisite that each and every letter in their name compliment and kern well with the one before it (for example, I don’t love the way the ‘y’ and ‘s’ interact in my middle name, but can hardly begrudge my parents that. They just didn’t know better). Ideally, any offspring’s name would also contain at least one ligature, but I’m flexible on which one (although “fi” is my favorite).

And then, the truth set in. I have been infected with this ultimate geek bug, an affliction that will thrive as I am constantly assaulted with both the beautiful and horrific type design choices that surround me.

Thank god, there is no cure.

*

It’s funny how things* begin.

*things: ideas, relationships, jobs, regiments, friendships, passions, hobbies, living arrangements, solutions, paths, careers, programs, projects, ventures, enterprises, endeavors, moves, changes, etc, etc, etc.

There are some of these things that from the moment of their inception, we inherently invest a great deal of ourselves in, creating hopes and expectations, letting our imaginations carry us so far away that we lose sight of what is and isn’t. And then there is the inverse–happenings that we take casually in stride, going along for the ride wherever it may lead us, without thought or care to where these things have come from or where they’re going.

I find it fascinating and uncanny that the things we think we want can often wind up fading into oblivion, while the things that we think mean nothing to us often gain traction. Is this backwards-ness the universe’s idea of a lame joke?

Or is it nature’s way of teaching us that we never truly know what we want?

Look Ahead

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On: Target

29 June, 2010

My office is on a prime block in Chelsea, just around the corner from the City’s first – and now positively humbled – Whole Foods. As such, the sidewalks below are often dotted with eager young folks, each sporting a colorful t-shirt bearing the name of some universally sympathetic charity (saving animals, feeding children, restoring the planet, and the like), preying on those city dwellers who clearly embrace some notion of Bleeding-Heart-ism, as evident by their willingness to pay for overpriced organic groceries. Thus, my daily jaunts in and out of the office – on my way in, lunch break, Diet Coke break, on my way home – are marked by a game of Sidewalk Chicken, where not only must I avoid the chatty, smiling good-doers-for-an-hourly-wage-+commission, but I also must dodge my fellow pedestrians, engaged in the same game.

Last week, I noticed that among the young men and women making a difference with their name-tags and clipboards, there stood a positively adorable gentleman, with longish, wavy brown hair, a chiclet white smile, something of an Abercrombie-model physique, and – well – he was simply very attractive.

Must deny impulse to take a second glance, or – horrors! – to smile, lest I be sucked in to his charitable scheme.

As I rode the elevator up to my office a few minutes later, I contemplated the blog I would write about my clear conflict: how to resist this most wonderful specimen for the sake and preservation of my practically non-existant wallet? (I should clarify that my policies on charity are:  a) I will give to the charities I choose to, on my own time, and b) I will give to those charities once I no longer have to work 2 jobs to make ends meet.)  As I became wrapped up in the variety of work-related and non-work related tasks on my plate, the would-be blog entry fell to the wayside.

Over the next few days, however, in my comings and goings, I kept an eye out not just for any colorful t-shirt and clipboard, but for the one attached to the hottie volunteer.  Of course, I had every intention on ignoring him the way I ignore all of them, but just seeing him, I thought, might make my day a little brighter.

Last night, I left my office in the usual rush in order to make it to class at 6:00pm (hooray for a cross-town bus!  boo for it’s reliability!)  As I walked, I kept my sunglasses (otherwise known as Invisibility Specs) firmly planted on my face, looked burdened by my many heavy bags (not really an act), and ramped up my general hustle to prove that I was short on time.  The sidewalk along Seventh Avenue was surprisingly scarce for an early evening, and so I saw him from down the block – this time, wearing a navy blue t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, I’m sure a leather and/or hemp bracelet and/or necklace, with a leucite clipboard wedged into his left fist.  A broad smile spread across his face; he crouched down a bit and began a funny little dance (which would have looked plumb ridiculous had anyone else done it; but when he did, it seemed charming and cute).  Surely, there was someone walking behind me who had engaged him.  I kept my abstractly-bemused-decidedly-non-curmudgeon smile in place and waited for him to address Phantom Pedestrian Behind Me.

But he didn’t.  His smile – an orthodontist’s wet dream – was for me.

I think I blushed.

He turned to follow my path and jovially asked “Hey, do you have a minute for …?”

I had to cut him off. “I’m sorry, I’m running late for class.”  I smiled widely, but kept walking, to prove my point.

He reached his arm out, towards my shoulder, then pulled me closer to him…

…to keep me from walking into the woman in a motorized wheelchair who was exiting Whole Foods.

Whoops.

“What class?” he asked, as he lifted his hand, going in for a low-five.

I smiled to overcome being so flustered at the near-wheelchair-toppling and held out my palm.  “Typography,” I replied.

He brought his hand down.  Low-five, indeed.

“A graphic designer!” he exclaimed, as he squeezed my hand.

“Trying to be.”  Another attempt to widen my smile.

My turn to squeeze his hand.  “Next time,” I said.

“Next time,” he repeated, as we let go.  “You promise?”

“I promise.”

I glanced over my shoulder; saw my path was free from motorized wheelchairs and the like, and threw one more smile over my shoulder towards him as I skipped down the block.  I held the smile, in case he could somehow see, in case he called me back, as I breezed down to 23rd Street.  My cheeks felt hot, but I blamed the summer sun.

…   …   …   …   …   …

Now, of course, I am still faced with a dilemma:  I have promised to engage, rather than politely (or impolitely) ignore him the next time I pass.   But I still have no interest in donating money to whatever cause he may be hawking that day. What to do?  What if one of his Volunteer Colleagues approaches me before he has a chance?  Can I still wear my No-Charity-On-The-Street scowl for his peers?

I won’t avoid him, won’t blow him off next time.   I feel, if nothing else, I owe him for helping me avoid tripping over the old and infirm woman in the wheelchair.  I’ll give him a minute of my time, but not a dime of my money.   Which is more valuable to him in the end?, I pose to you.  Even if I just get a few minutes alone with that smile, I’d consider it charity for me.

Besides, I could get a hell of a movie deal out of it if he asks for a date.

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