Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Dad on Exercise

Walking with a pipe to protect from dangerous animalsBullseye has walked four to six miles for exercise almost every day, for 25 years. When home, he’ll walk the same route around the neighborhood or on the treadmill if the weather is poor. He’ll also walk the same route when he’s on vacation at the beach (at the same hotel every year). At the last job he held for over 30 years, he walked the same blocks, or the same hallways if the weather was poor.

Despite spending more time in Washington, D.C., than almost any other location throughout his life, he couldn’t tell me about his surroundings, where landmarks are, or how to get anywhere. “What do I care where you young rockers go or where boring museums are?” he said. “I know how to get to the bus stop from the office, and which blocks to walk down.”

A few years ago he made the colossal jump from listening to music on a cassette to a CD player while walking. He never followed the earbud trend, instead sticking with telemarketer-like around-the-ear headphones. For sanitation purposes, I agree with him on that. That is where our exercise and sanitation similarities end.

Bullseye wears the same hat during his walks and washes it in the washing machine, though it really needs a HazMat scrub. He keeps additional hats in his car and at work, just in case, because leaving his skin unprotected from the sun is unthinkable even though the hat probably holds MRSA.

I do not need to delve into his shirt-tucking fashion, as that’s been illustrated enough already. Let’s just be thankful Bullseye doesn’t wear the same shirt on every walk, like he does for his hat. Though, he does continue wearing the same shirt for the remainder of the day following his walk.

I describe Bullseye’s gait as “like a penguin” the way he pivots his left foot. This leads to his left shoe wearing down immediately, so he marks his calendar to buy new sneakers every three months. This is a simpler approach than correcting his gait.

Ever since he was bitten by a huge black dog during his walk 16 years ago, he has walked with a weapon. As the years have passed without incident, Bullseye has downgraded the size of his weapon from a baseball bat to a pool cue to a pipe (the pipe’s origin is unknown). While walking, he exercises his wrists which have both been broken. This consists of large, repetitive arm movements. Bullseye speed walks to keep up his heart rate and reach an arbitrary step count. This combination gives him the perception as the neighborhood lunatic and he must scare the shit out of young children, young adults, and squirrels if he is lucky.

When it may rain, he carries an umbrella along with his pipe. I guess he isn’t comfortable enough to consider an umbrella his next downgraded weapon.

He wears his pedometer all day and not just during exercise, to pad his step count stats. “It’s important to track the steps it takes to reach the toilet room,” he said. I wouldn’t be surprised if he shifts around in the toilet room to trick the pedometer for more “steps.”

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Huffingstein Post

My publisher asks me to write a “Top 10 Cancer-Surviving Tips” article for Men’s Health Magazine in 2010 → I draft the article → send it to my publisher and literary agent, K → K says, “That is among the funniest things I have ever read. I was seriously laughing my a** off” → I am glowing because I love compliments from K → finalize my humor article → submit it to my publisher, who submits it to Men’s Health Magazine → No dice → I sit on the article → work on it again because I have a burning need to see all my projects to completion and hate sitting on things → resubmit the article to humor magazines → and humor blogs → No dice → Now I question whether this article is still funny, or if I over-tweaked it → I publish a different story in The Huffington Post’s “Generation Why” section → nice fella from The Huffington Post says he likes that other story and wants more from me → I re-open the “Top 10 Cancer-Surviving Tips” article → tweak it → tweak it more → send it to Hamburgers to review → He says I over-tweaked it and should reconsider the original version K loved → Hamburgers is right → Hamburgers is usually right → I give it my best effort, combining the best of all versions, and submit it to nice fella from Huffington Post → Nice fella says I should change the tone from sarcastic advice, to warning → I tweak it → resubmit the article → Story posts → I rejoice in another HP contribution → and in finally seeing this two-and-a-half-year-old article to the end → and hope it is funny → It may be funny → or it may not be funny → You decide for yourself after reading it here

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