Back to the Y

So, after a months-long hiatus, I finally made it back to the gym today. With all of my various trips, ailments, bouts of laziness and tobacco-assisted weight control, I’d managed to avoid the YMCA since sometime last summer. But the combination of holiday gluttony and the almost-but-not-entirely-successful resolution to kick the nicotine habit resulted in a shocking and horrifying run-in with my scale last week: a six pound gain – all of it in my belly, natch, i.e. I still have scrawny arms and a flat ass, but they’re now combined with a protruding belly. Yes, I’m bringing the hawtness…

Anyway, I was sure the Y would be especially horrible. January is the worst month, since everyone is acting on their resolution to get in shape – and most of them are annoying newbies who hog the equipment they don’t know how to use, courting injury and annoying the regulars. But the gym was blessedly empty and I was in and out with nary a problem. Granted, I only did cardio, so I didn’t have to do battle in the free weight area for a bench – but I did have plenty of room on the stretching mats post-elliptical-machine. I even managed to avoid eye-contact with Mr. I’m-Raping-You-With-My-Eyes (yes, of course he’s still there all the time…)

But I should’ve known it was too good to last. I got back to the locker room which was nearly empty – except for some dude using the locker directly next to mine. Ugh. Honestly, when there are plenty of empty lockers, doesn’t it make sense to choose one that is not right next to one already occupied? Apparently not…  But whatever, shit happens I guess. Except he was humming. Yes, that’s right – humming! And no, he didn’t let up – not once. Just stone-cold humming, humming and humming. I think I muttered, “Shut the fuck up.” And by “muttered”, I mean “said aloud in what most people consider a normal conversational volume” (normal conversational volume for me, as all who know me are aware, is shouting. But he just kept on humming and tra-la-la-ing…)

Then a couple of other chatty dudes showed up. And one of them launched into a monologue about having to wait for a “lockbox” (i.e. the penny lockers outside the locker room to store one’s wallet and phone) since they were all full. He couldn’t use the ones on the gym floor, since that would’ve required walking up a flight of stairs (I know! God forbid one should exert oneself at the gym!). So he had to sit and wait for ten minutes until one of the “lockboxes” was vacated. He kept saying “lockbox” over and over again. Seriously, I don’t think even Al Gore used the word “lockbox” that many times. And Al Gore certainly didn’t have to tolerate any nude humming in his vicinity…

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow as I continue my concerted effort to minimize my striking resemblance to Jabba the Hut. Good times!

Another reason to hate AT&T

TV commercials in general are insipid and annoying. But this one really makes my blood boil every time I see it.

Yes, I think we can all agree that life is filled with random chance and unpredictability – but to then turn around and say that something happening two seconds earlier is BY DEFINITION superior to something happening two seconds later belies this premise!  Suppose those ballet scouts (who, as we all know, are constantly roaming the streets looking for the next Maria Tallchief…) had been walking just a bit slower – the aspiring ballerina with the AT&T phone would’ve already crossed the street while the Brand X ballerina would’ve been discovered.

Or suppose that couple had been machete-wielding maniacs rather than balletomanes? Not only would she not be dancing Swan Lake, she’d be dead, cut down in her prime – and AT&T would be to blame!

Or what if she’d continued to wait tables and someone tipped her with a lottery ticket that turned out to be worth $46 million – then she could’ve become a famous ballerina on her own terms, without those two task-masters who discovered her on the street bleeding her dry, emotionally and financially, constantly criticizing her dancing and her weight until she developed both a dangerously unhealthy eating disorder and a raging cocaine habit, eventually ending her career before she’d even reached the age of 30, after which she spiraled further out of control until, at age 33, she was found dead of a heroin overdose in a shooting gallery in the South Bronx?

Or suppose after she was discovered and became a world-famous ballerina, with a long and successful career in which she became the most acclaimed dancer of the 21st century, she found herself approaching her 100th birthday, frail and alone in her beautiful townhouse on Fifth Avenue, just down the street from the Metropolitan Museum, surrounded by all of the trappings of wealth, the walls covered with Matisses and Van Goghs, sparkling chandeliers hanging overhead, freshly-cut out-of-season flowers artfully arranged in Baccarat vases in every room, but feeling nothing inside, just a black hole of despair and regret as she remembered her one true love, Dylan, with his crooked smile and his cowlick and his half-written novel, who’d waited tables with her back before she was discovered but whom she’d abandoned to pursue her dream-turned-nightmare of becoming the most celebrated ballerina in history?

So I guess what this commercial is really saying is don’t use AT&T. You will either die young or lead a life without even the merest sliver of happiness and completely devoid of humanity.

Cupcake War is Hell

Annoying judges and host.

I can’t believe I just sat through an hour of Cupcake Wars on FoodTV.  What a terrible show.

I actually quite enjoy a good cupcake – though there are way more bad ones out there than good ones. Take for example, the bubblegum cupcake offered locally by American Cupcake. Granted, I haven’t tried it – but I don’t have to…  The very concept is vomitous.  And don’t get me started on Citizen Cake… If you want an excellent cupcake, head to Miette. They are tender, delicious, never too sweet, an excellent frosting-to-cake ratio and just the right size. But I digress…

So, this terrible show’s premise is that four teams of annoying people make cupcakes for three equally annoying judges, all of it hosted by some other annoying individual. Tonight’s “theme” was “sexy” cupcakes using “aphrodisiacs” (e.g. chocolate, champagne, spices – yawn…) for ingredients.

The potentially interesting part of the show, i.e. the actual preparation of the cupcakes, is simply ignored, in typical FoodTV fashion. The “entertainment” part of the show is the running around in the kitchens while the clock ticks down in each timed round.

One of today’s contestants was a not-overly-sanctimonious (though obviously still annoying) vegan chef. I was actually curious as to how she prepared her winning cupcakes without the use of butter, cream or eggs – but no mention of that. Just frenzied rushing back and forth from mixer to oven.

In the final round, the two remaining teams had to prepare 1000 cupcakes and create a “sexy” cupcake display to be set up in a “sexy” nightclub, filled with “sexy” Hollywood industry types (i.e. car parkers and shop girls).

Chef Vegan had a Plexiglas tower of shelves, with fake flames in the center, the cupcakes served in cheap-ass plastic champagne and martini glasses – the whole monstrosity was flanked by two hideous wooden silhouettes of “sexy” singles. It was awful.

But even worse was her competitor! She used a bed as the platform for her cupcakes. Yes, an actual bed, made up with all of that foul burgundy-and-goldenrod betasseled and brocaded faux-luxurious bedding so popular at Ross and TJ Maxx…  And then covered the bed with cupcakes. Seriously, cupcakes sitting directly on the bedding!

You should’ve heard me screaming at the TV. “So what three flavors of cupcakes are you serving? Pubic hair, dandruff and body lice? And if you’re going to use a bed, why not be really authentic and put a cat licking its ass in the middle of the bed amidst all the cupcakes? Maybe shine an ultra-violet light on the cupcakes to reveal any extra ‘ingredients’? And shouldn’t they be ‘cream-filled,’ if you know what I mean..? Also, I am going to vomit.” I don’t care if that bed had just rolled off the assembly line – the very idea of eating cupcakes served on a bed in a nightclub is gag-inducing.

So, to sum up, I did not care for this TV program.