Thursday, May 31, 2007

National Arbor Day Foundation Helps Planet by Distributing Recycled Paper Products Like There’s No Friggin’ Tomorrow

Yesterday I received the following solicitation from the National Arbor Day Foundation:

Note the words “STATEMENT ENCLOSED” and the block of X-ray-specs-proof squiggles that make the envelope appear all official-like. Now, I am not a member of the National Arbor Day Foundation (nor have I ever been), but my knee-jerk reaction to the “STATEMENT ENCLOSED” label was to wonder whether some identity-thieving jackass was running up my charge account with membership dues for do-goodery organizations such as this one. Upon examining the STATEMENT that was indeed ENCLOSED, I noticed that I, Storchy, was listed as a “Member,” and that the organization wanted me (a lousy deadbeat member, apparently) to cough up my “Annual Membership Dues” of $10. Having dismissed my initial identity theft theory as asinine, I fretted that I might in fact have purchased a National Arbor Day Foundation membership the previous year, after getting shit-faced on Mad Dog at my annual Arbor Day cookout and tire-burning party. I get a little emotional at those things, especially when I’m hammered.

However, I forgot my worries once I explored the contents of the envelope.

Holy balls! There’s enough recycled paper in that pile to constipate a large goatherd. It seems the National Arbor Day Foundation wishes to show its gratitude for my nonexistent support by showering me with the following gifts:

1.) Two Give-a-Tree greeting cards, with envelopes
2.) An 11 x 17 Rainforest Rescue Wall Calendar
3.) A book about planting and caring for trees
4.) Return address labels
5.) A bimonthly newsletter

A recycled paper product, another recycled paper product, yet another recycled paper product, a sticky recycled paper product, and a bimonthly recycled paper product. But wait! There’s more!

6.) A dozen 10-ounce bags (recycled paper bags, presumably) of their Arbor Day Specialty Coffee “that matures slowly in the shade of tall rain forest trees . . . and is produced without burning the forest to grow sun-loving commercial coffee.”

A nice idea on the surface, granted. However, I suspect the description neglects to mention that Arbor Day Specialty Coffee trees are fertilized with the freshly squeezed blood of baby lemurs, and the coffee tastes like bonobo ass with a hint of powdery mildew.

As part of my member benefits, the swell folks of the National Arbor Day Foundation will plant two trees for me free of charge. They kind of have to, really. When the world runs out of recycled paper, the National Arbor Day Foundation will need to use those trees to make more paper products that will eventually be recycled and distributed across the globe in bulk mail.

Ah, but I kid the National Arbor Day Foundation. Truth is, I’m glad I received this solicitation from such a fine, fine organization. It has taught me a great deal about protecting our environment.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Props to Donald Trump!

Donald Trump is a big, important business tycoon. He is very busy. I am not a big, important business tycoon. I am not as busy as Donald Trump.

The View is a show on television. It is on during the day when most people work. It is a show for ladies. I am a lady. Donald Trump is not a lady. He is a man. A very, very busy man, who runs casinos and stars in his own TV show and has affairs and builds shiny, pink marble skyscrapers that blot out the sun. So busy.

I have only watched The View once for about ten minutes. It was because Little Richard was on. He played a song and then he showed us everything that was in his makeup bag. Oh, Little Richard, you loveable freak show. There were many ladies on the program, but I could not tell you who they were except for Barbara Walters, who has been on television since the days when TVs only had one channel and were powered by raw potatoes.

Today, Donald Trump was on CNN. He was talking about The View. He knew the names of all the ladies on The View. He knew about each lady’s personality foibles. He knew that one of the ladies had been in a relationship for twenty-five years. He knew details about a disagreement that two of the ladies had recently.

I can only name two of the ladies who are currently on The View. One of them is Barbara Walters. The other is Rosie O’Donnell. I only know that Rosie O'Donnell is on The View because Donald Trump said so on the TV a few weeks ago. Plus, you can hear her yelling even when the TV is off and your head is in a bucket of wet sand. I do not know anything about any of the ladies’ private lives. There are many, many things that I do not know about The View.

But Donald Trump knows everything about The View even though he is very busy and is not a lady. It is nice that he can still find the time to watch a television program he enjoys. If I were a big, important business tycoon and I had a favorite TV show, I would also want to tell the world about it on CNN. MSNBC and Fox, too.

Thank you, Donald Trump, for keeping me abreast of what’s happening on a TV show that I can’t seem to find time to watch. You go, girl!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Excess Body Fat is Pissing on My Good Time

No, that isn’t Mars. The above is a satellite photo of my gut. A team of NASA scientists has gleefully classified my gut as the newest dwarf planet in our solar system. Not just another one of those puny, half-assed Category-3 “small solar-system bodies,” Storchygut (as NASA has dubbed the new dwarf planet) is in orbit around the sun and has enough self-gravity to maintain its nearly round shape. The new dwarf planet even has its own moon, which was mercifully omitted from the above photo.

In light of my gut’s new dwarf planet status, I can no longer ignore the fact that I’ve gained several hundred pounds over the winter. As I sit here, the seams of last year’s summer clothes are stretched so tightly around my torso that my own mother would readily mistake me for the Michelin Man. Over the past few months, part of me (the part of me that likes to eat, which is most of me)has been tickled by a sort of morbid curiosity every time I step on the scale and find that I’ve gained another couple of pounds. We have little conversations, that part of me and I:

ME: [steps on scale] HO-ly CRAP!
ME: [steps off the scale and back on again, peering over her gut] Shit! . . . . Shit! Shit! Shit!
TPOMTLTE: HOO-doggie! Now, ain’t that somethin’?
ME: But . . . I . . . how?
TPOMTLTE: Eh. What difference does it make? Hey, do you want a bacon sandwich?
ME: Hell, yeah.

So, after a months-long hiatus, I got back on the exercise wagon. Since I do not wish to become the target of my neighbors' ridicule, I generally do all of my exercising after dark. I load up my iPod and walk/run (mostly walk) until I get tired, which on a good day is usually around the 5-mile mark. However, because I’m in the worst shape of my whole life, I don’t have good days just yet. In fact, I currently have all the aerobic stamina of septuagenarian coal miner (which might actually be a slight overestimation of my abilities).

This past Saturday, on my maiden voyage, I strapped on the wrist weights and walked a little over two and a half miles before I started getting shin splints and a knot in my shoulder. I’d forgotten the part about muscles and the stretching of them, you see. I woke up on Sunday feeling like I’d been bludgeoned repeatedly with a sack full of grapefruits, but that did not deter me from taking another walk that evening. Apparently, once I finally manage to peel my dusty old carcass off the couch, I’m practically bionic. So, Sunday night I was feeling great. It was a beautiful night, I had walked half a mile, and a particularly good NRBQ song (“Green Lights”) that popped up on the iPod had spurred me into a sprint. Whee! But, then . . .bzZZzzzzZZT! THWACK! Something flew straight into the corner of my eye and stuck there. I couldn’t exactly see what it was, the thing being in my eye and all, but the telltale buzzing and rapid-fire stinging that occurred during my desperate attempts to swat it away have lead me to positively identify the perpetrator:

What a stroke of luck it was that the offender’s mug shot was on file due to his previous criminal record. The result of this dipteran brute’s handiwork is shown below.

Note the painful, debilitating swelling and redness just below the tear duct area. Tragic.

Your average person would probably come away from such a traumatic experience having learned rudimentary lessons like these:

1.) There are a lot of bugs out at night.
2.) When there are a lot of bugs out, it’s maybe not the best time to run.
3.) If nighttime running is necessary, maybe some kind of eye protection would be nice.

While the validity of these conclusions is arguable, I feel they are frightfully shortsighted. Having completed nearly two years of part-time study at Durham Technical Community College, my insight into such matters is far more fine-tuned and forward-thinking than that of Joe Q. Schlub’s. Therefore, it is my duty to share the valuable life lessons that I, Storchy, have gleaned from this experience so that others may benefit from them as well. These lessons are as follows (ahem):

1.) Giant insects are after me (and perhaps all of us).
2.) Giant insects want to eat your head, and they will, too, unless their god calls them away suddenly, in which case they will just leave a big sting-y mark under your eye that seems really conspicuous to you even though nobody else probably notices it.
3.) Giant insects do not want me (and perhaps all of us) to exercise.
4.) Exercise must be avoided at all costs or giant insects will eat your head, and what’s the point of having a washboard stomach and buttcheeks like two ripe cantaloupes if you don’t have a head? (Hint: No point. No point at all.)

Be safe out there, people.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mountains Rock

Just spent a long weekend in the mountains of western North Carolina. I can't write worth a damn these days, but my shutter button finger still works. Apparently, its muscles are the rare few in my body that have not entirely atrophied due to lack of physical activity. It's amazing, really, that I am still able to hold my head upright. Ah, but I digress. Behold . . . the mountains.

Kind of purty, ain't they?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Note to Those of You With Mothers

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
And when she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

For those of you who feel a bit challenged when it comes to gift giving, I'd just like to point out to that "forty whacks" is never an appropriate Mother's Day gift. No, not even for the mother who has everything. Consider instead a nice pair of Isotoner slippers, or a coffee mug with your photo on it, or some leather chaps, or an economy-sized container of Metamucil, or a set of metric socket wrenches. Any one of these things would be a far better gift for Mom than forty whacks. Trust me on this one.

Stay tuned for my installment on Father's Day gift giving.