Crap on a Cracker

I ate a half-cup (ish) of the new Dulce de Leche that the guy put in the bunker today. Thought FOR SURE it was the light version based on how soft it was. Guess what? WRONG. Checked the Flavor Finder website, and they don’t MAKE a light version of DdL. Fine, now I know. But the really shitty part is that the light Strawberry that I thought I was eating probably wasn’t the light version at all. According to Flavor Finder, though, the non-light version is called “Real Strawberry”, whereas the light version is just called “Strawberry”, which is exactly what the label on the bunker says. But I’ll never know.

I think the lesson I’m learning is that, unless the frikkin’ thing says Light, Sherbet, or Skinny Cow, I can’t frikkin’ eat it every day. Which is tough to swallow considering it’s a cheap (a.k.a. free) treat at the end of lunch or in the middle of a grueling afternoon, and I’ve used it numerous times as a break to get through the day. Probably explains why my belly button has been getting larger recently. I was hoping I was pregnant.

PS, while my sister was up for Turkey Day, we also celebrated Consumers Have Ridiculously Indulgent Shopping Tendencies Made Apparently Sacrosanct Day, or CHRISTMAS for short. She gave me this book on insights from stand-up comedians (by Franklin Ajaye, go look it up yourself cuz I’m too lazy to link to it) which I started reading today on the train. I like it a lot. Definitely looking forward to getting further into it – I was kinda hooked even at the introduction part. I’m even tempted to blow off my afternoon just to read it. Bad idea, self, BAD I DEA. Wait until you get back on the train. Eat some prunes instead.

Special shoutout to Steve the Volunteer Coordinator Guy, who commented on the Thanksgiving post – we were happy to help! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do so!

Puttin’ It Out There

Enough already with the waffling between fitness programs & nutritional vigilance. Here’s my frikkin’ FitDay journal.

You see me putting half a cheese pizza in there, or eating Slow Churned three or four times a day, call me on it. You see me NOT putting in my activities (either too lazy to input them or too lazy to even do them), then call me on it. Finally, if you have questions or want help doing this type of thing for yourself, ask. Happy to help. FitDay helped me get realistic about caloric intake and food composition, and then I was really able to change the way I thought about food.

It did more than just teach me what’s worse for me; I had a pretty good idea of what was bad & what was worse & what would ensure I’d hate myself for in the morning. What it did was show me that a handful of almonds is a decent snack but increase it to two or three handfuls, and, healthy fats aside, I might as well have eaten half a bag of Oreos. If you’re going to eat a lot of something, even a “healthier” something, it can still put a dent in your allowance. In order to eat more than a cup of something at one time is fat-free yogurt or cheese, some fruits, most vegetables, and popcorn with non-fat seasoning. Bet you didn’t know that. F you if you did, cuz you didn’t tell me before I got fat.

It also helps you keep tally on those little snacks, and on drinks/sodas/juices. A Pepsi & a small bag of pretzels is still a 425 calorie snack – 20% of what your intake should be. But spread those out, meaning a Pepsi in the morning and pretzels in the afternoon, and you probably wouldn’t even register them as things that you ate that day. That shit adds up!

But one of the most powerful things that I think this helps you to see is the TYPES of foods you’re eating when you think you’re doing yourself a favor by skipping meals. I was under the assumption that, if I just snack most of the morning and most of the afternoon, I would probably come out to about the same as if I had eaten a big cheeseburger and a small salad at Ruby Tuesday’s. Not even close to true; see the above pretzels & Pepsi example. Even a shitty Big Mac is only about a thousand calories; if you instead ate three bags of pretzels & had two Pepsis, you’re already at about 800 calories. Sure, you haven’t eaten a fat-encrusted unnatural “meat substance” dipped in “CHEESE” and special sauce, but you have consumed roughly the same amount of calories – and it was basically all sugar.

Carbohydrates are not evil, but if you’re skipping lunch because you’re too busy WORKING or just aren’t hungry, you’re not burning off whatever calories you’re taking in, and carbohydrates are short-term energy sources, but the body treats them all pretty much the same – they are quickly converted to fat, the body’s long-term storage unit, if they aren’t needed immediately. That is, if you’re not moving around and burning the 800 calories worth of pretzels & Pepsi, the sugar converts into fat because the body doesn’t need the calories yet. It’ll break down the fat when it has to, but until then it will insulate your body in case the food stops coming completely.

But you know what’s more easily broken down than fat? Protein. Also known as muscle. So you haven’t eaten a “fatty” lunch, but you’ve snacked and stayed sedentary. When you do finally run up the stairs because you’re late for a meeting or try to make it in the doors of the FedEx Kinko’s before the cute girl leaves for the day, your body will burn muscle because it’s already stored the carbs as fat, and muscle is more readily available than fat (assuming you’re not already in great shape in terms of metabolic efficiency.)

Have you done yourself a favor by skipping meals? HELL NO. Your body burns muscle instead of sugar or carbs when you finally do get active. You did eat 20% less calories, but you’ve basically just made them part of your spare tire collection & received no nutritional benefit whatsoever. (At least the “meat substance” would’ve had a solid 15 grams of protein to help protect/create muscle fibers.) And guess what? Know how you feel run-down and queasy because you didn’t eat lunch & just snacked? Yeah, that’s your body’s response to your blood sugar going through more peaks and valleys than Rosie O’Donnell, and it isn’t following the same natural wave it normally follows throughout the day. So what’s your body doing? It’s taking blood away from your head, pulling it into your stomach, and using the extra oxygen and heat to convert whatever sugar is in your system into fat for long-term storage, because you’re freaking it out and it’s going into scarcity mode.

Do this 80 times a year (every fourth or fifth day) without giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll put on 20 pounds, your libido will suffer, you won’t sleep as well, and you probably have skin problems. All because you thought having pretzels & soda instead of a Big Mac HAD to be better for you.

In general, this is still true – but only to a point. FitDay helps you find that point. That’s all I’m saying. In this huge rant, that’s all I’m trying to say. And I wish like hell I could find/be blessed with the business savvy to take their little model and blow it into a full-fledged Bob Green-endorsed accessory to 5-Factor Fitness.

Our New Thanksgiving Tradition

First, a few ground rules on the ideas of Thanksgiving & traditions.

Thanksgiving is defined as the whole holiday weekend in November when you spend LOTS of time with a lot of people you care about. Sometimes it’s too much time, but that’s all relative to the people you’re hanging out with.

Traditions… well, there’s a fuzzier shape here, but I’m defining tradition here as anything that you do consistently for two “annual” events, in this case, the annual Thanksgiving weekend.

That being said, let me tell you the Turkey Tale of the West Coast version of the Hansen Family Thanksgiving Traditions.

We decide on our menu and buy the supplies days in advance. Because our festive crew only amounts to a max of four (so far), we do Cornish game hens instead of a big turkey. (Plus the torture these hens are put through is by default on a smaller scale than that of turkeys, because they’re smaller birds. Perfectly logical.) But we have all the other traditional fixins. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Makes me hungry just typing it. Oh, and we also buy at least 6 bottles of relatively cheap wine.

As far as the group, my sister comes up from L.A. This year it was just the three of us, last year Shorty had just moved in so he was here too… but the group is small enough that we can all be in the kitchen & dining room at one time, we can all chip in on the feast-making, and we have just enough people to make board games and drinking games interesting.

On Thursday, we got up and volunteered. This year was the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Park Trot (which is usually a Beach Trot, but because of the oil spills, it got moved to the Polo Field in GGPark). Got up at 5, I got us lost trying to find the south end of the park (I swear Lincoln Way doesn’t go east all the way to Stanyan, but whatever) so that we arrived about 10 minutes later than the official volunteer show-up time of 6:30. Made no big difference, except that I was quite nervous that I had already tainted the day of celebration – the whole race thing was my idea, I was responsible for getting everyone up & getting us there & making sure we had fun & felt like we made a difference. No small task. But in spite of R’s discontent with my bad directions, we arrived bright-eyed & bushy-tailed, ready to help.

We met a girl named Robin (a significant first name for us) who was there setting up the t-shirt tables, and Steve The Volunteer Coordinator Guy said we could help her finish setting up & then our group would become the T-Shirt Distribution Hub, complete with the authority that comes with a big black marker to mark off bibs, which dubs them as Those Who Hath Receive-Ed Thine T-Shirts. At this point, we were very excited.

Our excitement shone through in SPITE of the chilly temperatures and brisk breezes that were quickly numbing our hands, fingers, toes, even as we deftly maneuvered all of our body parts to set up tables, break open boxes, break down boxes, and expertly display The T-Shirts in corresponding Piles Of Cottony Girth.

Our Newfound Friend Robin was from Beaverton, Oregon (a HUGE running locus and yet another significant characteristic of our fellow Angel of Apparel). She joined us in dancing clumsily to the tunes bursting forth from the DJ’s Spire of Sound, which consisted of Rat Pack Classics, random holiday carols, and tunes from the Father of Christmas Sound himself, DMX. As all these elements came together into our Volunteering Valhalla, we knew we’d be in for a special experience.

The Time When The Siren Wails & The Turkey Trots was approaching, and our first supplicant arrived to retrieve her garb, in a Size Medium variety. She was 60 minutes early for the race, and was stereotypically an Asian woman. (A brief note on the applied stereotype: when there’s free sh!t involved, such as aluminum cans in recycling bins worth a nickel, Asian women of San Fran are typically the ones who will get up / arrive earliest to claim the free wares and clutch them closely in the name of providing for the family of which she is so proud.)

We donned upon her our T-Shirt from the Pile of Cottony Girth, variety Size Medium, and we witnessed the first of what would be many Appreciative Countenances. They came in many shapes & sizes, and some even came costumed as a Gravy Boat, as a Turkey, as Santa, and my personal favorite, as a Deviled Egg. It was a joyous group of Those Fit To Run/Walk. Some donned their T-Shirt, some carried it as a Proud Badge of Involvement, and some took it home to Those Too Fat To Run/Walk. But all left with Appreciative Countenances, and usually with a parting Grateful Remark.

As the Turkey Trot finished and the volunteers, full of woe that their opportunity to Serve Thy Community had ended as swiftly as Those Fit to Run/Walk could Run/Walk the 5K, began cheering themselves up by partaking in the leftover Bounty of Free Crap Bestowed By Frivolous Corporations (BFCBBFC). Clif Bars, craptastic Vegetable Waters, and completely non-Semitic bagels, all free for the partaking, and they partook with great fervor.

Laden with our leftover BFCBBFC, we hustled back into the Holiday Hybrid, warming ourselves with fumes from the non-polluting batteries. We arrived safely back in our nest, where we basked briefly in the glow of having Served Thy Community.

We then proceeded to make lots of food, get wasted, and continue eating lots of food. And it was good.

Bohemian Like You

By now you’ve realized that a lot of what WYLT is about is pondering large questions by observing small things. Jerry Seinfeld turned this in to being the number one show on American networks (in spite of Larry King’s ignorance); I turn it in to something commercial-free for my dear readers. I really am a good Samaritan.

Anyway, this morning as I walked from BART to work, I saw a college chick walking by in a dumpy sweater, grey stretch pants, a big belt and a big angry nose. She looked individual, snow-flakey in her dishevelry (new word – f*** spellcheck and its red squigglies). I observed her “noticing” me and quickly dismissing me as uninteresting, corporately American, and dressed like her emotionally unavailable father. This is really a small thing, but it caused me to ponder it on a larger scale.

I came to the realization that, were I not in Corporate America… or even better, if I were totally living this life for myself and myself only, I probably wouldn’t dress the way I dress. Then I realized, crap, if I didn’t care about anyone else’s opinions and wasn’t worried about being an upstanding member of society, I would probably look different under my clothes too.

What that unlocks is the ability to envision (I’m not adopting this, just envisioning) myself wearing nothing but cereal t-shirts and those black-white-checkered pants that you see chefs and cooks wearing in restaurant kitchens. Those t-shirts would be an XL, because I would probably weigh about 70-80 pounds more; not caring what society thinks means I can eat all the pizza, chicken parm, and Oreos I want, and wash every swallow down with a nice cold Pepsi. And I wouldn’t be stressed, because I’d work at a movie theater or a bookstore or as a doorman in a real theater, waiting to be discovered as a 235lb. master of humor & wry wit.

Much like that trick that motivational speakers use – “Ask yourself, ‘If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?’ Buy my book!” – I think this is a valuable exercise (and I’m not selling books… yet.)

If you really & truly told society, your friends, family, wives, husbands, Oprah & Lindsay Lohan to f*** off, what would your closet contain? how would your decisions on diet, activity, career, music, porn, hair color and tattoos change?

Interesting/ironic that I ponder the idea of not caring about social judgment after being socially judged & passed over by some little filly on College Avenue on her way to get a bagel & continue being miserable. Were I to have passed her in my Cap’n Crunch t-shirt & chef pants, she may not have dismissed me, but I wouldn’t care. I’d walk on, heading straight for Bob’s Donuts and the life I’m living for me.

MQotW – Work Edition Vol. 1 Issue 2

Note: I know this is probably cheating, but I just don’t have time to blog AND do MQotW, so I’ll start making MQotW pull double-duty. Enjoy, and feel free to participate.

My Disorders Are Seasonally Affected,

Last edition’s quote: “You guys have chickens?!? Are these original recipe or Extra Crispy?”

The correct answer is Son-In-Law. Yes, starring Pauly Shore & Carla Gugino. Pauly went on to more movies involving chickens. Carla went on to movies involving drugs & Russell Crowe (American Gangster).

Last edition’s winner, with the honor of being the FIRST winner of MQotW, was Toddfrey “Headphones” Jones. Toddfrey is normally spotted in the Garden View, rocking out to a music mix that can only be described as eclectic: everything from Massive Attack, Bette Midler, Tiny Tim, all the way to Sex Pistols, Shoelaces Are Stupid, MEATPIE, and David Hasselhoff, depending on the mood he’s in. Most recently, though, Toddfrey has expressed an interest in acting; he just saw the naked wrestling scene in Borat and was particularly inspired, so he auditioned for & was selected for a major role in the Orpheum’s reprisal of Hugh Jackman’s two-man show, ‘The Boy From Down Under’, in which Toddfrey plays a small boy that Hugh finds living under his pillow, au naturale. (The misconception that ‘The Boy from Down Under’ has to do with the fact that Hugh Jackman is Australian is a wide-spread virus of false information; the play is a heart-felt exposé on the trials & tribulations of small-framed boys born into a life of hiding amongst cotton, feathers, and darkness, where you need no clothes.) If you have a chance, please stop by & wish our budding actor all the best. As his prize for winning, Toddfrey will receive a gift certificate for one night’s lodging under the pillow of his choice at the Lucky Lucky Massage Parlor in Alameda. In keeping with encouragement of Toddfrey’s extracurriculars, the gift certificate will be made out to his new stage name, Ducky Von Hydenpillough.

Alas, there was no second place winner this week, as Toddfrey’s response was the only one to contain an attempt at answering. HOWEVER, we here at MQotW are not monsters, and when we say we will award two fake prizes, we mean it. So this week’s second prize goes to the first person to respond confusedly to the first edition, which was Julia “Schmools” Newton. Aside from having one of the most unique nicknames in the Bay Area (and that’s saying something), Miss Newton is quite an individual’s individual. Her personality was constructed from a mold that none other has filled, past or present. I can bet on the fact that none of you know anyone else who has all of the following habits: saving all their own hair & nail clippings in a five-gallon paint bucket in the closet; obsessively acknowledging lampposts with a jaunty “What’s up pussycat?” as they pass each & every one; drawing rude (and I mean rude) pictures of bunnies doing “repair work” on vacuum cleaners and hanging these pictures on a shower rod in the garage; and reading books that Oprah recommends. Julia’s prize as the runner-up is a new nickname, but in the interest of Web 2.0, we here at MQotW are opening it up for suggestions. Got a new nickname for the toenail-saving, lamppost-greeting, fictional-bunny-violating, Oprah-reading Schmools? Let us know!

Be the first to guess the title of the movie from whence the below quote was taken, and you will receive a grand fake prize from yours truly. If your correct response is received second, you will receive no prize whatsoever, but will be mocked for your inferior movie knowledge and/or less-than-catlike reflexes.

Please note: The point of MQotW is to acknowledge those with a completely useless mental database of movie knowledge, NOT to reward you for book marking or some other movie site & being able to type quickly; therefore, if you are found guilty of such high treason, you will be summarily dismissed from the distribution list. And I will flame you on MySpace. Research at your own risk.
Because this contest has some timing aspects to it, and to be fair to all my homies, I will distribute the MQotW at noon every Tuesday. Unless I’m busy.
Without further ado, I give you this edition’s…
Movie Quote of the Week:
(whisper) “He’s cooking our garbage.”

Good Luck!

I Swear I Don’t Make This Stuff Up,

Brian “Makes This Stuff Up” Hansen
Master Quotidian

MQotW Creator & Founder & President & CEO & Ampersand User & Title Acquirer

“Shift+7 Baby!!&!&!&!&&&!!&&!!”

What is it about Fridays?

If you’re at all like me, Fridays are nearly sacred. Everybody loves a good Friday (not the religious kind). We count on them pretty much every week, unless they’re right around a two-day holiday before the weekend, in which case we don’t really care which day is which, or unless they’re the last day of a vacation, in which case we don’t look forward to the Friday but we say ‘Well at least we have the weekend to get back into the groove’. But cool people that don’t work weekends know that Fridays promise lots of great things, among which are some of my favorites:
a) happy hours;
b) pizza, beer and/or porn, especially in college;
c) movie theater visit(s);
d) dinner with friends;
e) potentially meeting new people while doing any of the above;
f) laying around in the living room just vegging out in front of crappy movies & worse food.

And remember when you were a kid? Fridays meant little or no homework, and even the homework you DID have, you didn’t have to do on Friday (!). I almost always rented movies and/or video games on Fridays so that you’d get the whole weekend to enjoy them. Fridays were usually the days when the parents could justify taking you to McDonald’s or ordering pizza or grabbing food that tasted like ass in the food court at the mall. Plus you got to stay up LATE. Not that you did anything with that whole ‘no bedtime on Fridays’ rule, because you were too fat to have a lot of friends or energy… but at least you didn’t have to go to bed right after Golden Girls. Staying up for Empty Nest – now that was a big deal.

And once you were old enough / no longer the fat kid and had friends, you had sleepovers on Friday nights. Board games, video games, tons of Mountain Dew, ping pong, laser tag (nerd!), capture the flag (hick), LAN parties (computer nerd), midnight trips to Wal-Mart / Krumpey’s donuts / Denny’s / Taco Bell / Waffle House (fat kids AND hicks), over-priced movie tickets, porn pirated from stepdads (perverts), porn found on the internet (nerd perverts), chess (… J.C. I was an uber-nerd), Magic cards (why am I still revealing this sh!t?), stalking girls we were too afraid to talk to (thank Jesus for the 5th amendment), deep conversations involving metaphysics and The Truth… Fridays always held something to look forward to. (Notice that I didn’t mention anything to do with dating or going on dates – aside from stalking. Now remember that I’m married to a beautiful woman who SEEMS really cool… and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about whether or not she’s a nerd in a sexy body.)

Even the Fridays you have ZERO plans for, you get all excited – “Well, no big plans for the weekend, but maybe we’ll (fill in blank with something you’d never be able to do during the week because ‘during the week’ is not Friday)!”

But some Fridays… shit goes wrong. You NEVER expect bad news or bad things or heavy workloads or lots of chores on a Friday. When they come up anyway, they’re ESPECIALLY bad – or you end up shielding yourself with the Friday, saying “Well, at least it’s Friday,” and you feel just a little bit better.

For instance, this morning the wyf & I kept our pinky-promise to each other to go to the gym. I left a bit earlier than she did (she was in her “other office”), and because I had left my keys at work last night, walked out the door, ran to the gym, and checked in there by giving my name. (Normal procedure is that I take my keys & they scan my little keyring badger thing.) R will meet me there.

So I get on the bike & pick up a copy of BusinessWeek to sweat all over. About 3 minutes in, R bounds up the stairs and says “Major problem: do you have a set of keys?”

This is like the BIGGEST event for us, when one or both of us doesn’t have keys & is relying on the other one to be more responsible (I admit, I’m usually the one doing the relying). We HATE ourselves & a little bit resent the less responsible one for being so Hurry Hurry that they can’t even remember their damn keys. It’s a big deal because there’s NO good place for us to keep a spare set in case this happens; mailbox = mailman theft, outside our door = we can’t even get into the building so that doesn’t help, neighbors = we don’t know/like ANY of them well enough to rely on them for keys, work = best we can do but still damn inconvenient especially at 6:15 in the AM.

So I’m like “Of COURSE I don’t have keys! I had to rush YOU out of the office last night because I forgot them! You know this! Don’t ask me if I have keys! You know I don’t!” (I only said “NO I don’t have keys!”, but all the other stuff was blended in with the emotive yell in which I said it, so you need that background.) She says “Don’t Yell At Me!” and she’s right. Didn’t mean to yell, and yelling does no good… so I yelled “I’m NOT Yelling!”

Her solution was to go all the way downtown to her office building (20 minutes with the help of public transpo, 30-40 if you’re hoofin’ it) and pick up the spare set in her desk drawer. Again, if you’re like me, you marvel that she’s lucky enough to have walked out the door with her Muni pass (for the buses & cable cars) AND her badge for work but not the keys to the apartment.

And of course I’m all “I’ll go with you” and I toss away the now sweat-ridden BusinessWeek. (I get sweaty quickly on the bike. Keep up!) “You don’t have any money & you don’t have your bus pass!” Well, no, of course I don’t – I’M AT THE GYM, WHERE NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS PERFORM ANY SERVICE OR PROVIDE ANY BENEFIT.

*sigh* So at this point we’re both stressed out – even as I write about it, my heart rate is up around 70. (I’ve gotten my resting rate in the low 40s these days! Healthy!) She takes off & says she might make it back by 7, which was the time we’d decided made sense for gym departure. I continue my workout with even higher heart rates, more sweat, and less concentration on form – because I’m worrying about whether or not she’s going straight to the apartment or for some reason coming all the way back to the gym and where would I meet her and I don’t want to just miss her and have her mad and holy shit this 55 lbs is heavy.

In the end? Of COURSE everything worked out fine. Of course of course of course. She got down there (ran along the bus route but because there were no buses got to run the whole way), snagged the keys, took a cab back and paid for it while it sat out there waiting for her to come down with money, left a note on the door so I’d know she was there, delayed her shower until I got back, and I got back 10 minutes later.

We left together & caught the cable car, all the while talking about ‘at least it happened on a Friday’ and ‘ready for the weekend’ and ‘couldn’t have handled that on a stressful Tuesday’ etc.

It was a big deal because we’re totally OCD NIs (Neurotic Insecures), and I’m very OCD about schedules & expectations, and when it’s a Friday, our expectation for our schedule is minimal hiccups and as much fun as possible. But instead of this WRECKING a Fun Friday, we wrapped the Fun Friday around us and insulated ourselves from the nerve damage that such an incident would cause on a Terrible Tuesday or a Woeful Wednesday. We maintained the positivity that Fridays promise.

As my workday on a Friday draws to a close, I just ask you to recognize the force that is your Friday, and to go forth and revel in it. It is a day for reverie, a day for relaxing, and, if you must, a day for beer, pizza, or porn. I am off to enjoy my Friday. I wish that you do the same. Just remember your keys.

… and I might talk to the wyf about naming our first-born Friday. That’s how sacred the day is to me. (Better than naming our son Rosh and our daughter Hashannah.)

List #1

I’ve spent the first two hours of my day thinking about the following list. I think about it in spurts, so it took a while. Luckily blogging about it should move quickly. Below is The Top 50 Realistically Alternative Jobs That Would Be More Fun Than Corporate America. Qualifications for this list include:

-has to be something that I would actually do. Being an adult film star would PROBABLY be more fun than Corporate America, but I wouldn’t actually do it, therefore it won’t be on this list.
-has to be a JOB, not a career. Again, porn star would probably get excluded here, but so would Architect, Real Estate Agent, Race Car Driver… basically anything that would occupy my time FULLY and preclude me from having another job at the same time. Actor does not get excluded, for instance, because while it could be a CAREER, it would most likely just be a part-time thing, at least until I can get to a gym often enough to stop looking like Chunk from the Goonies and more like Tyler Durden.
-has to steer me away from the doldrums of desk work and at least feel less routine.

So, without further ado, I give you The Top 50 Realistically Alternative Jobs That Would Be More Fun Than Corporate America. These are in no particular order, because I just don’t have time to prioritize them right now.

50. Skydiving Instructor

49. Line Cook – not chef, too much responsibilty & looks more like a career option.

48. Movie Theater Owner/Operator – not too careery; could sell out at any time.

47. Phlebotemist – not a full-on nurse, just the guy who takes your blood and/or plasma, like for Red Cross.

46. Actor – duh.

45. Comedian – double duh.

44. Movie Quote of the Week Administrator – LOVE that sh!t.

43. Video Game Tester – would probably get bored eventually, but hoo-boy would it be fun.

42. Homemade pastry chef – think bake sales, not Kara’s Cupcakes.

41. Carpenter – so what if I know nothing about it now? I can learn. Carpenters need math skills too, right?

40. Cashier – working in Martin’s Grocery Store #32 in Waynesboro was one of the least boring things I ever did.

39. Croupier – as in the guys who work the craps tables or roulette tables in casinos; must be non-smoking casinos.

38. Sailing captain/instructor – of course I’d have to learn how to do it myself first. Details, people, details.

37. Blogger

36. Movie critic

35. Restaurant / Food critic

34. Travel writer

33. Improv teacher – believe me, my profs make next to nothing at this, but dammit do they have a good subject to teach.

32. Opinion leader – as in people actually come to me for my opinion on something, like socks. How many socks opinion leaders would you need? I’d be the Oprah of socks.

31. Oprah’s chauffeur – realistic because I drive REALLY REALLY well.

30. Jerry Seinfeld’s assistant – realistic because I look Jewish, even though I’m not.

29. Lewis Black’s best friend – realistic because I’m just as angry, and will probably end up just as ugly, as he is.

28. Julia Roberts’ smile consultant – realistic because … um … I have teeth too.

27. Movie Theater projectionist – much less responsibility, all the fun, half the money.

26. Courier – getting paid to ride around on a bike and drop sh!t off for $30 an hour? Hell yeah!

25. Marketing consultant (part-time) – helping a friend or relative get their business/restaurant/career off the ground by helping promote it in new/creative ways. I’d be AWESOME at this.

24. Student – could be a career, but I can probably only afford to do it for a few years. Hated papers & tests while in college, but now think I’d appreciate it more & would learn more.

23. List maker – seriously.

22. Part-time book editor – for instance, why do I care enough about punctuation & grammar to make sure that every note on this list has some form of punctuation at the end of it?

21. Charter pilot – SERIOUSLY.

20. Child wrangler – as in the guy who works at the day care center but is really only responsible for not losing the kids & making sure they learn / have fun. No need to change diapers.

19. Lifestyle guru – if I could just give up all this financial security crap and just go after doing what I want to do, I would love to tell people how to do the same thing. Plus, guru is just a cool title.

18. Counselor – as in not a full-blown self-help diva or psychiatrist/ologist, but just someone people can lean on / trust / talk to about their issues. I do this now for friends & family, but wouldn’t mind doing it for others if earning a buck or two.

17. Hotel critic

16. Hotel reception

15. Wedding Maitre’D – this guy basically gets paid BUKU dolares for being super-organized and efficient for 5-10 hours a day, maybe 3 days a week.

14. Landscape “architect” – as in the guy who plants shrubs & maybe even knows a thing or two about how to design a landscape. Did this for a summer – Best Job I Ever Had.

13. Consumer advocate – put my sense of respect and duty (as well as temper) to good use by helping other people fight against The Man, without getting into politics.

12. Deep sea charter boat captain – my grandfather seemed to have the most fun in his life when he was out on the open sea, trying to catch big fish. Would love to bring that experience to people.

11. Customer service representative – obviously prefer to do this for a company/product that people LIKE, but could handle just trying to solve people’s problems with their bank, credit cards, etc.

10. Waiter

9. Bartender

8. Speech writer – not a career one, but a personal one; some people make a decent go at writing wedding/bar mitzvah/Oscar speeches for people, and I know speeches.

7. Founder of ‘Friends’ Fan Club – maybe that’s less-than-hetero, but I seriously love that show. Maybe my sister & I could run that sh!t together.

6. Board game designer – this one borders on career, but holy Hannah, if it was for a small/independent/family company with minimal bureaucracy, I’d be in.

5. Caterer

4. Greeting card writer – along same lines as speech writer, only potentially more lucrative/stable.

3. SNL writer – only Al Franken and Lorne Michaels have done this their entire life, but the difference is that I would be GOOD AT IT.

2. Presentation skills consultant – these people make lots of money for just telling folks how to present better; whether it works or not, they still get paid. Plus I’m not bad on stage.

1. Church founder – new type of church that’s based on humor and the healing power of laughter. Check out Tom Robbins’ “Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates” for a looksee.

I could combine a few (dozen) of these and still bring home the bacon, but I’d probably have to give up a lot of ‘free’ time or personal time… and I do love my free time… but I might be able to survive with less of it if I got to do these types of things all day long. It might start to feel like my whole day was free time, y’know? Wouldn’t that be sweet.

Any thoughts on this list, drop a comment. And if this post, or ANY post, particularly inspires you, PLEASE let me know. That’s what this is about people!