Remember the cereals we used to eat as little kids? Or, rather, the cereals that some of us still eat as a guilty pleasure? Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, Cinnamon Toast Crunch...All these high sugar, high calorie cereals with charming cartoon mascots to entice kids to eat them. What did we see in these things? Did we really think that Lucky's charms were going to grant us magical powers? Did we really want to invite a vampire into our homes under the promise of chocolate in the morning? Did we ever question what happened to the other two chefs that Wendell hung out with? As the fat one, did he eat them?
After diabetic shock sets in, I'm sure we'll all put the spoons down, maybe. I'm just personally concerned, because it seems I've never had a childhood. The closest I got to eating cartoon-sponsored cereal was Honey Nut Cheerios. My favorite cereal as a small child? Cracklin' Oat Bran. It seriously does not get more boring than that.
What happened to me as a child? Was I struck by this crunchy cereal, above all cartoon characters, primarily aimed at geriatrics who needed to be more regular, as fun somehow? What animated showoff would've spoken for COB? A peppy old man, decked out in his brown and green Sunday best, pennies in his loafers, quad cane in one hand, bed-pan in another?
Forget it. Now I'm depressed and cereal can't help me.



If it’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my hair. It’s huge, thick, and no matter what I do, it’s got the perfect amount of shine. Yeah, it’s a shallow thing to feel superior about, but dammit, I’m lucky to have it. The men in my family either lost it by their late twenties or are taking pills and using the most powerful anti-balding shampoos known to man to keep it. Nearly every time my family gets together, my cousin will look at me with mild envy, first at the three inches in height I have on him, then at my thick blond widow’s peak. Hair loss? Bah!
However, ever since the discovery of hair gel (a recent find, only four years back) I’ve strived for a kind of freeform follicle architecture perfected by my Doctor, David Tennant. Sure, his is brown, but I’ve got thickness.
Because of this fondness for what is essentially head glue, I’ve begun scientific experiments at The Pit where I am currently employed. Take bugs, brightly colored depending on how deadly their poison is. I’ve noticed a certain degree of trepidation towards people with especially freaky hair, a friend of mine going so far as to wear a wig in her exact natural color, but with huge dreadlocks instead of her usual bangs and slight curls. People take pause, wondering if they should’ve found a different supervisor to complain to. Like a man in a jungle trying to remember what that damn rhyme is about coral snakes, an aging woman with rough eye shadow and a bad perm job is something to approach slowly, or possibly back away from, hands in the air, no sudden movements.
At the best of times, I have what my girlfriend calls a “Clark Kent” haircut, like a comb over without the baldness. On days like that, I get approached by all sorts of folk, asking me questions about televisions and remotes and cameras and on occasion, compost. But yesterday I started it out small, unthreatening, gelled but in no way threatening. By the end of the day, I had haphazardly sculpted a do of colossal and frightening proportions, pointing all directions (although if I wasn’t attentive, I’m pretty sure it would calm down to pointing magnetic North), daring people to approach.
Sadly, my findings are thus inconclusive, as giant scary hair seemed only to attract more people. Maybe freaky hair is a sign of knowledge in an electronics department. Maybe people didn’t care. Maybe the people at The Pit are Just Damned Weird. More experiments are in order.
Share your hair stories in the comments! I’m striving for reader interactivity here, even if there are only three of you.



I realized the other night, on the drive home from work, that I had a problem. A little red light on my dashboard was blinking, the one that tells you your copilot is a God-Damned Idiot and has not buckled their seat belt. I began to worry, not because my passenger was in danger, but because I had no passenger. Clearly, I have a phantom aboard my Toyota. Not that that's the biggest threat these days anyway.
After some brief tests, I realized my backpack, and therefore all that is in it, is enough weight to trigger the seat belt light. How heavy does that bastard have to be?
Eleven pounds.
Eleven fucking pounds.
Average weight for a newborn baby is only eight. What the living hell do I strap to my back that weighs more than a new human life?
Quite a lot, actually, the pack rat I am. iPod (with waterproof, drop resistant case), headphones, two types of deodorant, several old pay-stubs I keep forgetting to file away, compass (I don't know why) binoculars (for when I need to use the compass, I guess), vitamins, weightlifting gloves, antidepressants, Idea Notebook, schedule, whatever hardback book I'm reading at the time (this week: The Complete Sherlock Holmes), glasses case with spare glasses (and sunglasses!), and, on occasion, a 17.3" laptop that adds a further eight pounds.
Why do I carry so much junk? Because I like to be ready? Ready for what? A foul-smelling brightly lit monster that is actually friendly but disgruntled and disoriented, and needs to see something that is far away and then needs to know which way is north? Is it because I just keep my life in my backpack? How much does yours weigh? Wasn't this a message in Up in the Air, starring George Clooney? Yes, but he was a misguided dick in that film, so never-mind that.
Step on the scale! Share your weights and knick-knacks!


Fat Gandalf

Let us talk about fat.
I've never exactly been skinny, voting "Yes" to cheeseburgers and fries whenever they came up in conversation. And now, as an addict of my local gym, weight is not exactly an issue, being slightly above my target for my height. However, there was a period of time that I am slightly ashamed of, and that period has a name.
Fat Gandalf.
As a fan of the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf has always been a favorite character of mine. And having then recently discovered the wonder of Ren Faires, I pulled out my costume sword and staff, and ready to shout "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" whenever the opportunity arose. It was only afterward when I saw the pictures friends took of me on Facebook that I realized I may have a problem. The costume was a poor take of that from the movie, cloth tight in the wrong places, made of stretchy cotton rather than the rough heavy wool Ian McKellen was fond of. Instead of Gandalf, and made me look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man decided to go cos-playing. I was about as pale as him, and my inability to grow any sort of facial hair enunciated the baby-faced pudgy nitwit that buldged in all the wrong places, nearly overlapping the belt I wore around my "waist."
Did I mention how pale I was/am? When people shouted "The White Wizard!" they were not kidding.
Skip a few years/girlfriends/anti-depressants down the line, I've dropped 60 pounds, and picked up new hobbies in jogging and weightlifting (still no luck on a tan), boosting my self-confidence by a thousandfold, regardless of whatever medication my therapist says I need.
So if Fat Gandalf can make it, so can you! The magic is inside you all along.
You pasty freak.


Dear Past Self

I sit in my comfy computer chair, swiveling away, as I attempt to change my e-mail address. After twenty minutes of it being a pain in my ass, I realize something dreadful.
I'm a weak-ass pansy.
And so are we all, if you think of it. Even in the military they don't expect you to take down a mastodon for food and clothing. Hell, when was the last time we thought of mastodons? And Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers doesn't count. I mean in the 'Oh shit oh shit this big furry thing with the tusks the size of GOD is trying to squash me like a bug I'm so sorry for anything I've ever done' kind of sense.
Dear past self, you are a sissy wimp who couldn't track a limp rabbit with ADD.
After I e-mail myself my password hint, I tell myself, I'm going out and teaching myself spearhunting.
Angry at your cell because it takes too long to text? Cranky at your laptop because it takes too long to load porn? Leave all comments below...