Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Phantom Blower.

The Phantom Blower is at it again.

Every year, he gets out his snow blower and blows the snow from my driveway, walkway, and sidewalk. He does one or two of the neighbors' drives as well. I have no idea who he is or why he decides to do this with every snowfall.

This is my second year living in this house, and I really should go out and introduce myself to the Phantom Blower -- offer to pay the intermeddler, I suppose. But really, I'm quite shy about such things. Oddly, a part of me is afraid of the Phantom Blower.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daily Confession.

I have a crush on someone.

It's not a Ruin The Marriage sort of crush. No, it's a passing crush. It's a fluffy meaninglessness. Mostly, it's a distraction from real life that will never be acted upon, even if the crushee were interested (he's not), available (he's not), or geographically desirable (he's not).

The novelty is amusing and entertaining, though.

I'll be surprised if my crush lasts through the end of the week.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weight Watchers if following me.

Those who have actually kept up with my poor, dying blog may remember that I joined Weight Watchers Online back in November 2007. By April, I had reached my goal weight, having dropped 26 lbs. Over the next few months, I dropped another 10, bringing the Total Weight Lost number to 36.

Having successfully completed my Lifestyle Change ("Stop dieting, start living" the commercials urge), I stopped tracking all my food and stopped counting POINTS, relying instead on what I had learned, combined with my increased exercise. Thus, since August, I've been maintaining my weight, having stopped the hard core Weight Watcher-ing. (Wouldn't that just be Weight Watching? I digress...)

But Weight Watchers if following me. I checked my gmail, only to be greeted by an ad telling me that I can eat whatever I desire on Weight Watchers (to which I bellow a hearty "bullshit"). Then I logged onto hotmail, only to be told that Weight Watchers has a brand new program for men (they don't -- it's the same as the women's program; men just get more points and a special message board titled Guys On A Diet, which kind of contradicts the entire "stop dieting" philosophy).

Weight Watchers is following me.

My friends tell me I'm paranoid.

But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get me.

The futility of toilet paper.

Oatmeal makes my nose run. It's true. Gustatory rhinitis, it's called. Every morning, I have the same breakfast: oatmeal made with skim milk, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cut-up banana. And every morning, my nose runs.

Thus, before I leave each morning, I head to the downstairs bathroom and grab a sheet of toilet paper on which to wipe my running nose, reasoning that the toilet paper is less expensive than the more-conveniently-place paper napkins located on the kitchen table.

This morning, I thought to myself: Saucy, is toilet paper actually less expensive than paper napkins? You buy both in bulk. You should look into it. For normal people, the inner monologue would have stopped here. For me, of course, it did not.

I began pondering the use of toilet paper. It's ridiculous, really, that we use tiny scraps of paper to wipe our asses and nether regions. Paper! The same substance we use for printing money and court transcripts is used to clean feces. Coincidence? I think not.

Truth is, toilet paper has a long and colorful history. Indeed, TP (as some refer to it) was first mentioned in China in 589 AD. Some travelers to China found this an odd -- nay, a disgusting(!) abomination. As a Muslin traveler to China in 851 AD remarked, "They [the Chinese] are not careful about cleanliness, and they do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper."

Even now, nearing the end of 2009, there are cultures that use water and would not deign to merely wipe themselves with paper. In fact, in much of Southeast Asia, people use little or no toilet paper, particularly in rural areas. Instead, there are reservoirs in the toilet room that are used for cleaning oneself (this is why it's not Kosher to use your necessities-cleaning hand for eating, I'm told; my source, however, may be incorrect, so if he is, do not cast stones upon me). Now this part is exciting to me: In some upscale homes, a water hose is used -- you know, like the one that attaches to your kitchen sink. In the end, you're wet, but you're clean. This seems like a superior system, and one making much lest waste.

Much like a bidet, really. Sadly, however, the bidet did little to assuage the onslaught of TP marketing. The bidet was invented in 1710, and though it gained some popularity, toilet paper was still used by the majority of Westerners.

I won't bore you any longer toilet paper's tortured history. If you want to, you may view it here.

In the meantime, the toilet paper in my house is going to be used for nose-blowing only. Or at least until I can get hoses installed in my two bathrooms.