Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Elusive 6-pack

    I have to say, I've done some pretty awesome stuff in my lifetime. I've seen the Australian Philharmonic perform in the Sydney Opera House, bought silk table runners on the Great Wall, seen Les Miserables in London, and received a full body massage from an ogre next to a gay guy in Budapest. However, one thing has eluded me my whole life….

    A 6-pack. Now, granted, this is primarily due to "lack of effort", but there are obviously other factors. For instance, I'm pudgy. I was born pudgy (10lbs 7oz) and, minus the periods of rapid vertical growth in my life, have always been pudgy. Those are just the facts. However, since my transition to NY I'm proud to say that I've been to the gym almost every day. Still absolutely ZERO sign of a 6-pack, but at least the guys at the gym know my name, right?

    One day at the gym, my life's direction almost took a drastic turn. I was running on the treadmill and from said treadmill you can see some of the undergraduate gym classes going on out on the basketball court. These are always fascinating. First, they stretch these poor kids out who look like they've spent a total of 5 minutes their entire lives lifting heavy objects. Then they line them up and have them go baseline to baseline doing the most ridiculous crap you have ever seen. One of them I think you just hop in the air and twist your arm somehow, which obviously has no purpose at all except to make you tired and make you look like a complete idiot all at the same time. And then it hit me! I should become a gym teacher. I've always loved finding ways to make people look like idiots without them having the slightest clue and this would be like the Mecca. I could come up with all kinds of "exercises" and tell them it's good for the Gluteous Tricepeous and no one would have a clue, they would just show up and do it day after day! Then I started calculating how long it would take me to pay off my debt on a teacher's salary and decided to stick with computers.

    As soon as I get a 6-pack (or heck, even a two pack), I'll post some pictures.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


No one likes recycling. If you do, there is something terribly wrong with you. I would compare recycling to snow. You think it is going to be cool all year. "Wow, snow!" And when it starts snowing for the first time every year, it's great. Then you're snowed in, the electricity goes out, you're feet are frozen solid from the slush you're walking through, and your girlfriend hates you for no reason other than it's cold outside. Same with recycling. "Wow, save the planet." Then you're sorting into 20 trash cans, carrying trash to other trash cans 5 times a day, dodging cockroaches in the basement, and clogging up space in your apartment with 2 liter bottles.

    Of course, recycling happens to be the law here in greater NYC. Given my Christian background, I feel compelled to follow the letter of the law. However, I hate recycling. So the question really becomes, "How can I avoid both recycling AND feeling guilty for not doing so?" Well my friends, I have found the answer!

    Step 1: Get one trash can and only one trash can. This makes the whole recycling process more difficult, leading to you being more bitter (apparently it's "bitterer" but how dumb is that?) about recycling, which leads to less guilt for not doing it.

    Step 2: Throw all trash that CAN be recycled into the trash can.

    Step 3: Cook yourself dinner. Be sure to cook way too much of something that just can't be used for leftovers.

    Step 4: Dump the leftover food on top of the recyclable goods.

    PRESTO! New York City can't possibly be upset that you didn't dig through your leftover chili just so you could recycle one stupid Diet DP can?! Of course not! Guilt eliminated.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Making Friends with Foreigners

Now here is something that I'm actually getting pretty good at! Not only have I been around the world and lived a month with a Japanese family, I now live 2 blocks south of Harlem and attend Columbia University which sometimes resembles Capital Normal University.

First of all, you have to introduce yourself. If you shake hands, for goodness sake just shake the guy/gals hand. There is no harm in a little bit of cultural exchange. Second of all, ask that person something about their country. If you've been to their country, tell them that and they will pretty much love you forever. And finally, be adventurous and try to eat some of the same stuff they eat. Not only will they feel more comfortable, they will respect you for trying out their culture. It's really that easy.

With that being said, if you try all of these things and you've made no progress, just give up. I mean, you can try some other stuff, but this is what really works so why even bother.

One foreigner I've been lucky enough to meet is my roommate, Mr. Tim Fang. He's probably the nicest Chinese guy on the planet and a mad rice cooker. We're currently holding somewhere close to 35 lbs. of rice in our room, with about a liter and a half of Soy Sauce, and we're hoping that takes us all the way to midterms. For fun we like to practice English, talk data mining, or try and remember the Jordan Normal Form from our Linear Algebra days. Good times…

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Rule of Moving

I've just moved from OKC to NYC this week. There is almost too much to write about all of the things I've learned in just the first week, but here is probably the most important. If you are moving anywhere (not just small town to big city), find yourself a COMFORT FOOD.
Mine's chocolate. And its a good one to have because anywhere you move they have chocolate. If they don't have chocolate just give up because you're not going to be happy there!

Once you've figured that out, go out and buy a crap load. Like enough to where if you have to lock yourself up and not leave for three days, you still won't run out of whatever it is. And then you're game. The first thing I did when I was by myself here in NYC was eat about 50 pieces of Hershey's Nuggets (not my favorite, but sometimes you have to just get through the day...). That calmed me down enough to go back outside and walk the town and I've been eating a little less each day.

More advice to come!