Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sweet Emulsion, or My "Career"

That's me

This day is much like previous days in my past. I once again have secured a job as a screen printer. I wanted to reminisce about those previous jobs that got me where I am today, because I'm pretty sure those were more fun than this one will be, and I thought by writing about them I might remember why the heck I keep getting printing jobs. Well, I know why I keep getting printing jobs. It's the only trade I have experience in. Sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out if I hadn't walked through that alley on my way to get some ice cream back in 12th grade... (Here is where you picture the wavy/fuzzy dream sequence fade between present and past.)
Los Angeles, CA
My friend Jani and I were walking through an alley that runs between Etiwanda Ave. and the intersection of Reseda and Oxnard in, like, the Valley and stuff. We were going to Baskin Robbins to get ice cream. On our way there I pointed out a screen printing shop my friend Ryan had shown me. I didn't know what screen printing was, but it was called Angry Girl which I thought was pretty awesome. On our way back, (being the friendly person I am) I went in to ask what this screen printing thing was all about. And that is when I met Michelle. I thought she was just about the coolest person I had ever met. She let me come in and explained the basics to me. Then she told me to come back and she would show me how to do it. So I did. Michelle and I would hang out while she printed, we would paint banners together, and I would clean screens for her. I don't even remember printing anything. Maybe I did. But it was so much fun just to be there. I would have been there for free, but Michelle would even pay me for helping her, which was amazing for me, a teenager who got to hang out with her friend and drink her beer. We are still really good friends. In fact just last night we talked for over an hour and made up funny words. Now that's what and employee/employer relationship should be! (If you're in L.A. order you shirts from Michelle!)

                                                                      Tucson, AZ
After high school I moved back to Tucson, where I had found a job in the one week I had visited before getting all my stuff from L.A. It was at a place called JAMS, which was a horrible name for a business. I started working there, and soon (in about an hour) realized that this place was not going to work. It was run by the sons of some guy who used to own it, I guess he retired or something. They paid by the piece. That means that I got about 20 cents for every shirt I printed. Or something like that. I didn't even stick around long enough to get my paycheck. I let them keep it. All $20 of it. They went out of business right after that.

                                                               Tucson, part 2
After going to school for a while I decided I didn't want to anymore. My classes were full of idiots and I thought I was going to do better in the workforce. After a semi-crappy job at a kennel, I got a horrible job at a toy store, "Mrs. Tiggy-Winkles", which was the only time I have ever been fired. They said I wasn't perky enough. That's because I was trying to pay my rent, unlike all the sorority girls who worked there. Plus I don't like other people's spoiled kids screaming in my ears. So the day I got fired I went to Taco Bell. There I ran into a guy I had met previously while applying for a printing job at a place called Galaxy Graphics. His name was Matt. He told me he still had my resume and I should come in the next day and talk to the owner. So I did. And I got the job. (Of course).

I worked there for about a year. It was pretty good. The owners of the place were an interesting couple, Jim at one point smacked my butt in front of his wife Theresa and she just about killed him. So did I. Theresa had a mullet. Jim looked like he stuffed about 3 pairs of socks in his pants. We finally learned that it was not socks, though it wasn't wiener either. It must have been hard for him to ride a bike. We always had a great time making fun of them. Finally, they moved to Nebraska for some reason and we were on our own. We played darts, had some beers from the drive-thru liquor store on the end of our building, and really had a decent time. As it turns out, one of the printers, Fat Matt, was one of the owners of JAMS, but had foreseen its demise and got the heck out of there. As for Matt, the guy who I had run into at Taco Bell, I ended up working with in the future, at Laffs Comedy Club. Tucson is full of coincidence. I quit that job at Galaxy and went back to school.
                                                              Tucson, part 3
After going to school for another few years, I again grew tired of it and got a job at a crappy coffee place, Coffee X Change. I worked there for about 2 weeks but I really couldn't stand the manager, who thought he was hot shit because he was the manager of a crappy coffee place. I was living on the couch of my friend Alan, who worked at Laffs. I went in there to hang out and started talking to one of the managers, Ken. It turns out that he used to print too, and we got to talking about jobs. He hired me to work at Laffs, and my friend Michelle who also worked there, called the crappy coffee shop, pretended to be me, and quit. I worked at Laffs, with previously mentioned Matt, Ken, the previous printer, and lots of other people who in general were pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it paid next to nothing but I worked there for almost 2 years. Then one day I got a call from Aladdin Graphics. I had filled out an application there about the same time I applied at "crappy coffee shop" 2 years before. I didn't put a date on my application, so it never got thrown out. They had even changed locations. So I went in, and once again, I was a printer.

I started out there also getting paid next to nothing, but when Bryan, the other printer, decided to move to PA, I was the only printer. We went through lots of people there, mostly because Troy would hire young guys who had no work ethic. It was always fun though, and eventually I was pretty much in control of everything in the back of the shop. The owner Troy is a damn good salesman, so we were generally pretty busy. I liked it there, and I would probably still be there if I hadn't moved. (Is that a good thing?) There were very few days when I woke up and didn't want to go to work. I should have been making more (You know that Troy! I was too nice to say anything). I still feel like the people who work there are part of my family or something, which is pretty sweet. We had good times. (If you're in Tucson and you need shirts, order them from Aladdin. It's really the best place in town, and that's coming from someone who had to work there, so you know it's true.)

And then I met Mike, the attractive Audiologist from NY. Love at first sight, blah blah blah. We moved to NY.
                                                                 Brooklyn NY
I applied to the few places I could find that were hiring, but my experience was less than great. I went to an interview at a place in Brooklyn, and this guy had no clue what he was doing. I guess he got some book from the 70's about screen printing and decided to open his own shop. It was awful. He wanted to hire me part time at his awful shop. Ha ha ha. Nope. I went to an interview at a place which turned out to not even be a shop, but this guys art studio where he taught printing classes to Williamsburg hipsters. He wanted me to help him advertise for free. Again, ha ha ha nope. Eventually I got a horrible job selling tickets to a comedy club, which lasted about 3 months. Until today, I haven't had a job.

                                                               Bronx, NY
 And now I do. The place has like 20 employees, which is something I've never experienced. It's packed with boxes of shirts and presses. God help me if there is a fire. It's about 100 degrees in there, which is normal. And once again, with the exception of Angry Girl, I'm the only girl. I start tomorrow. Once again I will wake up early, put on my old ink covered clothes, and smell the sweet emulsion*.

*Emulsion is a photosensitive substance used in screen printing that hardens when subjected to ultraviolet light. To prepare a screen for printing, it is coated with liquid photo emulsion and allowed to dry. Opaque, monochromatic artwork (known as a stencil) is transferred onto a transparent medium such as glass or film which is placed over the emulsed screen. Ultraviolet light is shone on the screen causing the emulsion to become hard and insoluble, except in areas that are covered by the opaque artwork. The entire screen is then washed in water or solvent, allowing any emulsion not hardened by the light to rinse away, leaving a representation of the artwork on the screen.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Other Blogs and The People Who Write Them.

I like to look at the blogs of people I don't know. There are days worth of entertainment to be had, just by clicking "next blog". I'm sure there are blogs on just about every topic, but as any reader of blogs probably notices, most of them are written by mothers about their families. About how little Brendan made the team or how Makenzye (or other ugly girl name) made a poopy today. Most of these blogs also include some kind of scrap-booking reference or lots of butterflies and sparkly things. And almost all of them quote the bible, or talk about how the kids are "blessings", or have some kind of thing about being thankful.
Examples from some real live mom blogs!
"This morning muffins and fruit were on the menu for breakfast. Sawyer was still sleeping and Caroline wanted to help. So she pulled up and chair and was a great assistant. I still can't believe that she is closer to 2 than 1. Time has gone sooooooooo quickly."
And another:
"A few times a year, I get to enjoy a weekend of scrapping away from the craziness of home. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. I just can't scrap with them around. So . . . . I pack up my few carload of supplies and head out. This past weekend I finished 29 pages while enjoying friendships renewed, eating what someone other than I made for dinner, and listening to great Christian music."

Awww, how touching. I guess I might not get it since I'm not a mom and I'm not a religious person. My only complaint about blogs like those, are that these women probably had interests other than children and scrapbooking at some point. Where did their interests go? When they were 20 were they scrapbooking and talking about babies? I would encourage them to remember those things they used to like. They might be more interesting to read about. Like my friend Robyn. She is a mom and she has the best blog on the net. She writes about interesting topics and has great opinions. So I've got nothing against moms who blog. I just don't like reading about blessings. Blah. Babies come from an egg and a sperm. Not the magical glowing finger of God touching your uterus or something.

And then there are the people who have no idea what they're talking about, and I have no idea what they're talking about. Here is a shining example from a blog I found today. Try to get through it. Good luck:

"There's pros and cons for everything. We can't really have everything perfect. We'll just have to accept facts. Just like objects, if you like it, you'll learn to accept the cons of it. No matter you really accept it, or you're just fooling yourself to accept it. One thing for sure is, you'll still accept it no matter what way. But aren't there just some things that you just can't accept ? No matter how hard you try, you still see that "con" more than the "pro". There's just some things that we can never accept because..... that's how it is. And no matter how you fool yourself to accept it, you'll still not like the cons. It's just how life is. Either you truly accept it, or you don't. NEVER try to fool yourself in accepting something you can never accept. In the end, it will just be hurts and wounds. There's the big different from accepting yes and no. Like and Dislike. Though it's just that one tiny line that differentiates it. Just like cars. The car-car is a transportation. But a sports-car is a car for racing, speeding. Different, but their still cars. Is there any different with male and females ? Duh. But their all humans."
Yes, some things "will just be hurts and wounds". Yes, the car-car is a transportation. But I don't really know why we need to read about accepting. What are we accepting? A car-car? I don't think she ever told us. This blog is unacceptable. I can't accept it. I also can't accept "they're" grammar. I will give her an exception though, because "their all humans". Duh.

I'm posting the below photo just in case the girl who wrote that "acceptance speech" comes across my blog.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Longer A Bronx Blog

As you might have ascertained from some of my recent posts, I really don't like living in the Bronx. I miss nice people, quiet garbage-less streets, and a general concern for the well-being of others. I like quaintness sometimes, which is why I decided to change the title of my blog. No longer will I be reminded of where I live every time I want to write something. I'll just look up at the whale and feel better.

I chose that whale for a reason. Other than my obvious Melville obsession, I like his face. There are lines all over his body showing whalers where to cut him up, but he has a sly look in his eye because he knows he's better than those sailors. He knows he can outsmart them. And that's how I feel about the Bronx. I have at least 80 more I.Q. points than most people in my 'hood. I am like the mighty whale, knowing that someday he will outsmart the sailors and smush their little boat. I know someday I'll get the hell out of this neighborhood. I would smush it if I could.

OK, enough with comparing myself to a whale. Though I am formidable. Today I yelled some choice words at a couple of teenage boys who were trying to take up the entire sidewalk, and then had an attitude when my arm brushed against one of their arms. They did the usual teenage response of, "ExCUUUUUUSE ME!" I yelled something I won't type here because my mom reads it. But it sure shut them up! I walked on with a spring in my step because I hate teenagers and I like embarrassing them in front of their friends. I felt like this guy:

I have been waiting to use that comic for something. I think its my favorite comic ever. Yelling at teenagers was my nifty piece of footwork. (I like the word footwork.)

As there is no real topic for this post, I'll have to leave it at that. So from now on, don't look for A Bronx Blog. It is now Ye Olde Blog.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I feel like this guy pretty often. Today I sat down at the computer, ready for my brain to start spewing out creative words that would bring smiles to the faces of all those who read them. But nothing came. I have typed and deleted a few things now, and I guess I'm just not that creative today. My horoscope keeps telling me that I work too hard, and that I should take it easy. I don't know what it's talking about, as I haven't even been able to make myself do the dishes in three days. I am definitely not working too hard. But I have completely lost my focus.

I think it began with my wallet being stolen, which made me feel very violated, and made me have to deal with things that are probably the most annoying things to deal with. The bank, because this person used my debit card to buy $100 worth of metro cards, ($100 that I didn't have, which resulted in lots of fees etc.) And the DMV because my drivers license was in there. Since it was an Arizona drivers license, I had to go to their website and order another one. It would have been easy, except I couldn't remember what address they had on file for me so I had to try lots of addresses. It only let me try 3 times, and then told me I couldn't try anymore and I had to go to one of their locations. That would be easier if I wasn't in NY! So I called my mom and had her do it for me from her computer in Florida. I figured out which address they thought I lived at, which is the address of a not so great ex-boyfriend who I don't talk to anymore. So I had to find an address to say that I live at, that they will send it to, and then that person will send it to me. Thankfully I have another ex who I get along with very well, so he was happy to let me pretend to live at his house. We'll see if it works out.

As if those things weren't annoying enough, yesterday I checked the status of a package my mom sent, which they apparently tried to deliver the day before, but seeing as I wasn't home at 3 in the afternoon, they did not deliver. They also didn't leave the slip they are supposed to leave so I can reschedule the delivery. So I called the post office, and the guy who was not a very good liar told me that the slip would be in my mail box that day. It was not. They don't come back the day after attempting a delivery to leave you a note. He actually thought I would believe this. I would go pick it up at the post office, but seeing as you need the paper they are supposed to leave, and an ID (oh the ironies of life) I don't think they would just give me the box. Mike called them and demanded that they deliver it today. So we'll see if they do. I am pretty sure they won't.

So these are the reasons I can't quite get my creativity flowing lately. I'm waiting for too many things to be taken care of. And if it wasn't bad enough, the people I'm relying on are employees of a bank, the DMV, and the post office. It has to be one of the most horrible feelings of helplessness I've ever had. And that makes me really mad.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Everyone likes Herman Melville

On Saturday Mike and I went for a pleasant stroll through our lovely neighborhood and came across a library that is much better than the one I had found previously. They actually had two rooms of books, and not too many loud teenagers. Mike got a book on Italian, since he's been wanting to learn it, and I got a biography of Herman Melville. I often remember how as a teenager it was easy to become obsessed with something. I haven't been obsessed with anything for a long time and I missed it. Usually people are obsessed with bands or actors or TV shows, or any other kind of hip thing. Leave it to me to be obsessed with an author who died over 100 years ago. But that's why I'm so cool. It's hip to be square.
I found that I'm not the only one who likes Herman Melville. My animal friends also like him and they showed me this by wanting to lay on top of his biography. In about 2 hours, I had two cats and a squirrel on the book. I didn't make them do this. They just wanted to be near him.
Another thing worth mentioning is a strange coincidence that happened yesterday while riding in a car. I brought the book with me to read on our way to a baptism. I opened up the book to my current page, and this is what it said,

"(Herman's mother...) managed to persuade her pastor, the Reverend J.M. Matthews, to make an exception to the church rule against home baptism."

It goes on to tell about his baptism and his parents religious beliefs. How weird, that I would happen to read that on my way to a baptism. You might think, "oh, that could happen to anyone." But I don't think so. Maybe if I was going to baptisms all the time or something, but who does that? Herman Melville is trying to tell me something from beyond the grave. And I live about a half a mile beyond his grave, so it's probably easy for him to find me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Herman Melville Would Not Wear This

So I've been reading Moby-Dick for a while now, since it's long and I only read it every few nights before I go to bed. I really like it, and I have also become a little obsessed with Herman Melville because he lives so close to me and I can go visit him whenever I want. (He is dead, and lives in Woodlawn Cemetary.) He's a really cool guy and doesn't mind the "pop-in", as I never call before I show up. Being such a brilliant writer and all, he has gained much respect over the years, but while googling "Moby-Dick" I found a t-shirt that has got to be the most horrible thing I've ever seen.

Now I know a thing or two about t-shirts. I was a screen printer off and on for about 10 years, during which I had the immense joy of seeing some of the ugliest designs known to man. Here are some examples: Burning clown faces. Burning skulls. Motorcycles flying out of flames. A basketball with flames. Skeletons on motorcycles, with flames. And while I have printed probably thousands of really ugly designs on shirts, none were as horrible as this. Behold.

True, there are no flames, but the Great White Whale seems to have Down syndrome or something. Some facial features associated with Down syndrome are: A short, wide neck with excess fat, irregularly shaped mouth and tongue,and a pushed in nasal bridge. Check, check, and check.
The next thing wrong with this really horrible shirt design are the random letters floating around the briny deep. Across the middle they have managed to insert the words MOBTY DICK. Close enough. I get that the T isn't supposed to be in there, but it sure looks like it says mobty. But what about the rest of the letters? F, R, A, H, Q, Z, N, P, two V's, two U's, and an E. Maybe they were trying to use letters that wouldn't spell anything to represent the letters that they think they might see in a book. Because obviously whoever would make something like this has never read anything.

I don't really want to go on forever about the two guys in the boat, but they seem to have sailed out of the hit show South Park, and will probably not be able to catch Down-syndrome-Dick because there are only two of them. I've never killed a whale but if I had to I would bring more than one guy along. I get that you can't really put an entire ship with tons of people on a shirt, so I'll let them slide with that one.

I actually own a shirt, that I made, that is what a shirt with Moby-Dick should look like. And it's not even a shirt for a book, but for one of my favorite bands, Mastodon. Here is a close up of that one.

Notice the realism. The whale actually looks like something old Ahab would have been scared of, And the boat is realistic. I'm not sure about the designs on the whale, but it's still way more awesome than Mr. Down syndrome up there. Whats even more awesome is that Mastodon has an entire album, called Leviathan, that is completely based on Moby-Dick. How cool do you have to be to write an amazing album, all about a classic novel? Pretty awesome, I say. Now THAT is what a shirt should look like!

Ugly shirts are fun to have though. Why just yesterday I spent a few minutes in a thrift store looking at them. Do you have an ugly shirt? Email me a picture and if I get enough I'll post a blog about more ugly shirts. I have enough that I could probably do one now, but it's more fun with other people.

And last but not least, here are some other Moby-Dick shirts. They are better and therefore not as much fun to insult. Enjoy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

To the people who live in my neighborhood

Where I live.

Dear people who live near me,
I know this isn't the best neighborhood. I knew that when I moved here. If we could afford some fancy apartment in Riverdale I don't even know that I would want to live there because the people would probably be really snooty and boring, and I like living somewhere that is interesting and different than other places. But I do have some complaints.

To the guy whose car alarm goes off whenever someone breathes within 30 feet of his car, I'm sure there is some way to fix that. I understand that this isn't the safest place on earth, but at this point, even if someone was breaking into your ugly 1980's sedan, you wouldn't know because it's the 9th time in 3 hours that the alarm has gone off. Do you really go out and look at your car every time the alarm goes off?

To the people who honk incessantly while waiting for whoever they're waiting for to come out of their apartments, twice is enough, and laying on the horn is like announcing, "Hey! I'm a complete asshole who doesn't know how to use a cell phone!" Everyone has a cell phone. My grandparents had a cell phone before I did. People with 25 kids on welfare have a cellphone, and I know those are the people you're honking at, so just call them.

To people who are unaware of personal space, slow walking, and/or meandering on the sidewalk:
Jerome Ave. has a lot of people walking on the sidewalks. Some are trying to get somewhere, some are trying to beat their children in public, some are explaining something to the police, some are shoving their 4th double cheeseburger in their stinky mouth. I am someone who is trying to get somewhere. No one seems to have any clue that there are other people on the sidewalk. I really wouldn't care about having to weave in and out and around people, if they wouldn't glare at me when I brush by them in a hurry. People in Manhattan walk fast. Please, people of the Bronx, learn something from them. It's really not that hard to be considerate of other people.

To people in the grocery store:
1. There is absolutely no extra room in an aisle for me to squeeze around you and your cart. I will wait patiently until you have chosen your item, but when you glare at me because I'm in your way, well, I want to slap you with your giant bottle of soda. Some people are really nice and will apologise for not even being in the way, but most look at me like they wish I was back in some European grocery store where they think I came from.
2. Learn how to raise children. Most kids I see in the store are pretty nice. They are very friendly and considerate. I bet they have great teachers. They just don't know better than to yell things in public, or act inappropriately, because that's what their parents do. And I don't think I've ever seen a kid do anything wrong in the grocery store, but I've seen a lot of parents react as though they had. And I've seen plenty of parents treat their kids like crap for not doing anything but ask for something they like or maybe get a little over-excited. They're kids. Hopefully they will grow up to be much better adults than their parents. Please stop ruining their childhood in front of me.
3. Hey teenage deli guy! It does not take a half an hour to cut a half pound of ham.
4. To the produce department, When you run out of something quickly, it means people like it. Please order more.
5. To the meat department, I don't even want to look at what you have done to what could have been decent food. It is cut wrong. It's all too thin. And expensive. I don't even want to look at what you have. And the goat meat! I can eat cows and chickens fairly easily, but goats? No. Goats are like pets. I know, it's a cultural thing, but I had to say something.

And last but absolutely not least, the "Candy and Beer Store". I love this store. I know the people who work there and they sell me things waaaay cheaper than what other people pay. I bet I could go in there right now and tell them I don't have any money and they would give me what I wanted because they would believe I would pay them tomorrow, which I would. You see, they do this for me because everyone else who goes in there is an asshole. They smoke in the store, they loiter, they try to steal the cat who lives there. They get in the way of people who are trying to pay for things. They speak at decibels that can be heard in space.
And like everyone else I have complained about thus far, they have no idea that other people exist.
So I guess that is the thing that bothers me most about where I live.

I'm going to walk to the candy and beer store now, where I assure you I will be accosted by unpleasant things, but I will know that while I may feel alone in a world of people who don't notice that I exist, at least 5 people will read this and understand.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Puffy White Blankets Cause Sex and Babies

While surfing the net I was reminded of something I have always found amusing because it is so ridiculous. Photo editors of (mostly) women's magazines who are trying to represent sex obviously can not show pictures of people having sex. So they figure that a picture of a man and a woman's feet, sticking out from under a puffy white blanket will somehow represent sex. Most of these photos are funny, because as we can tell from leg and foot position that these people can't possibly be having sex unless someones legs are on backwards. Would it be too suggestive to have the legs positioned in a way that would make sex possible? Probably.
As I mentioned before, notice the puffy white blanket. As if articles about sex weren't already ridiculous enough, making us think that a red light bulb in our lamp will suddenly turn our significant others into coordinated love-acrobats, now we also need an expensive down comforter under which to do those things that are being represented by the feet. This is laughable, because as far as I know, no one actually has sex under a blanket. And if they did, wouldn't the blanket be hanging down at the foot of the bed, therefore covering the feet? And wouldn't there be a sheet between the feet and the blanket? Which would most likely be tucked in? There are just so many things wrong with this.

Here are some that are even more confusing. Obviously I am not calling these sex-representing-foot-under-blanket-photos because there are smaller feet along with the larger feet. They were probably used in an article about how to enjoy one of those blissful Sunday mornings where your adorable children hop into the bed and cuddle with you. Or an article about the problem of children who won't sleep in their own beds. But from what I can tell, owning a white puffy blanket will up your chances of reproducing. I also think these are funny, because if all of these peoples feet are aligned at the base of the bed, (above photo. You know, that one with the feet sticking out from under the blanket,) the kids are being smothered under the puffy blanket and probably have their faces smashed against dads hairy gut. Awww.

And if that's not bad enough, this one is. I know when I'm taking care of a newborn, I always place him between my calves and cover him with piles of cloth.

Thanks for reading, and if you're not ready to have kids yet, try getting a thin colorful blanket, and keep your feet safely under it.

Skinny Erica, Not So Skinny Erica

My love of food has gotten the better of me and yesterday I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting. I realized that after trying to eat "healthier" on my own, my idea of healthier wasn't actually that healthy. I knew deep down inside that eating multiple artichokes dipped in my special sauce really wasn't low calorie, and who is full after two artichokes? That transitioned to the "eat less" phase where I would eat less, and then get so hungry that I didn't care anymore and would eat too many Utz nacho chips. And drink a few beers. They go so well with the chips. I love food and I love to make it. I love flavors of all kinds. It's hard to cook and not get carried away with the options that lay in front of you at the store, where you have limitless free flowing food ideas. It's hard to stifle those ideas and even harder to care about fat and calories when your brain keeps telling you how good it's going to taste. Today I had the most un-creative shopping experience ever. Whole grain whatever, fiber something, non-fat things that I usually laugh at. I did find a great deal on black berries, but that was about the only thing that excited me. The contents of my basket were all different shades of brown. Except for the milk, which is still 2% because I can never settle for less. Non-fat milk? Why not just use water? It's like saying "non-fat butter".

As much as I'm complaining about all this, I really do want to lose weight. It's not as easy as the last time I did. Back then I was doing physical labor for eight hours a day and eating a salad for lunch. And even then I never got that skinny. I don't want to be a stick, but I would like to fit in my clothes. That's what started this whole thing. I don't have a full length mirror at home, so when I went clothes shopping I got to see what I really look like. Don't get me wrong, I'm not huge or anything, but I'm not how I want to be. So I decided to pay some company $12 a week to give me pamphlets and weigh me and teach me how to make "better choices" using the POINTS system. They always write it like that in the pamphlets. POINTS. I have never been on a diet so self control is hard. But I'm doing it and I guess it's not that bad. But it's hard to read something where every other word is bold and italic. And sometimes has the trademark symbol after it.

But what am I supposed to make for dinner? Anything with bread is pretty much out of the question because that would use up too many POINTS. I want to keep my points (sorry, I can't keep doing bold italics) for things that are the "better choices" like filling healthy foods. What are those, you may ask? Let me get my "pocket guide" and I'll tell you. Pretty much anything whole-wheat or whole-grain. Fat-free dairy and dairy substitutes. Dairy substitutes?! Lean meats. (Lean meats are tough, flavorless meats.) I do like a pork chop though, and those are lean. So I'm going to have to be extra creative with my cooking. It's not even so much the types of food that bother me, but after not having to watch what I eat for so long, I feel like a weirdo looking at serving sizes and calories and fat. Mike doesn't help much, sitting next to me eating garlic bread like it's nothing, after his two chicken breasts and bowl of pasta, while I removed half the chicken from my nearly dressing-less salad because I only had 9 points left for the day. I like salad so I didn't feel bad eating it, but I really wanted that damn bread.

Another thing that's going to be really tough is beer. It's not as many points as you may think, but when you only have 24 for the day, you can't be using them all up on tasty, tasty beer. But you do get weekly points allowances, of which there are 35, and you can use them however you like. I'm saving mine for the Bruce Springsteen cover band we're going to see at a bar. Then I can have some vodka and sodas with lime and not starve myself all day. That would not be a healthy and sensible choice. See? I'm getting it.

Enough complaining from me, I'm going to stick with this and fit into my clothes again. If anyone is still reading this I'm sorry for the lack of funnyness in this post. If anyone reading this has gone to weight watchers and has tips on tasty food, leave a comment. I just needed to get some things off my chest. Hopefully when I lose weight I won't actually "get the things off my chest". (Get it? Boob joke.)