Mighty Life List
Mar 23 2009

Guest Posting on Plinky

Remember when I told you about Plinky? Well, I’m writing this week’s Plinky questions, which makes me feel powerful beyond measure. Well, moderately powerful anyway. Do my bidding!

I’m posting a new question every day this week, so go have a look.

In the meantime, Plinky didn’t have space for one of the prompts I wrote, so I thought we could answer it here:

Hideous, no? Now choose. Show your work in comments.

Mar 9 2009

10 Days with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Trainer, Day 1

So, last month, I had some surprising success with that video by Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer, Tracy Anderson, and then I had emergency oral surgery. My mouth has finally stopped throbbing when I move (party at my place!), so I’m trying this again. I’ll start with five days now, five days after SxSW.

Day One report:

I move the coffee table and shove aside train sets, Hotwheels, Thomas DVD cases. Soon I have almost enough room to unroll a yoga mat and get to work.

“Now we’re going to start with your warmup,” Tracy Anderson says. My warmup skills are radiant. I’m a warmup Olympian, you guys. I’d post video, but I fear it would be too emotional for you.

“Now we’re warmed up, so we’re going to go on to abs,” she says. Abs! Yes! Let’s do this! I continue to dazzle through this section. I imagine wading into a mountain stream to wash the laundry against my abs. However, there’s a wooden train track digging into my shoulder, and the tiny little bit of searing pain starts to grate after three hours or so.

“OK, we’re going to continue on with our abs, but I want you to grab a weight this time,” Tracy Anderson says. OK. But… I think we just did abs, Tracy Anderson. You were right here, can’t you feel the burning? No? Oh.

Me neither.

“The next part of the abdominal series is the piking series,” Tracy Anderson says. What? Oh, it’s on Tracy Anderson. Through this section, I punish you by whimpering in disapproval. “This is the most difficult series for the abs” Tracy Anderson continues. I whack my right hand against a miniature xylophone, and glare at Tracy Anderson through narrowed eyes. Her tiny dancer body still fits entirely within my millimeter of vision. I stub my left toe on an abandoned Tonka truck. My millimeter of vision begins to swim.

“Now we’re going to move into challenging your abs in yet another way,” Tracy Anderson says. This is where I black out. There is a light, and I move toward it. There are apple fritters here.

Mar 4 2009

Guy in Love Enters, Stage Left

You are a young man in love, and this morning you’re meeting a particular young girl for coffee. She’s lovely, and your elbow rests on the table, chin in hand, head cocked to the side. You are listening, really listening, and gazing upon her with admiration.

I know this scene is meant to warm my heart. You are oozing sentiment. In fact, your adoration seems calculated for public benefit. Look everybody! Now this is a Guy in Love!

I consider knocking your elbow out from under your chin, but instead do my best impersonation of a wistful smile. “Look at that,” I pretend to think. “Oh! How I do recall the days when my own love was budding and new.”

I’m sure I’ll see you around a few months hence, perhaps the day after you dump her via text message.

Feb 18 2009

Also, My Jaw Can Walk Through Walls Now

Filling out the paperwork for my oral surgery, I noticed I was signing a consent form for bone grafting. I had some questions for the person at the desk.

-Uh. Are you taking some of my jaw and putting it somewhere else in my jaw?
-Excuse me?
-Where do you get the bone for the bone grafting?
-Oh, it’s a pre-treated crushed bone. Sort of like sand we use to fill the space.
-Is it human bone?
-It’s cadaver.
-So, human.
-No, it’s cadaver. It’s animal bone.
-… Doesn’t cadaver mean “dead human body?”
-No, I’m pretty sure cadaver is a kind of animal.

In the end, she asked the doctor, who confirmed that it was dead-person sand they were packing in my jaw. This made me feel uncomfortable, and then deeply grateful. Signing that donor card is such an act of grace. I never anticipated needing anything quite so personal from a stranger, but here I am. Since the surgery, I’m carrying something sacred around with me — a little thimbleful of someone else.

Also, my jaw is now certifiably haunted. So if I say something insulting the next time I see you, you can’t necessarily prove it was me. Stupid.

Feb 17 2009

My Head is Heavy, Like a Melon

I have problematic teeth. When I go to the dentist, which I do every few minutes, they look at me like I’ve been sleeping with hard candy in my mouth, and waking to a hearty breakfast of dried apricots dipped in marshmallow fluff.

So many hygienists have given me flossing demonstrations that I’ve begun to carry a photo of our medicine cabinet in my wallet:

That’s eleven containers of floss, y’all, not counting the two in my nightstand drawer and the one I keep in my dopp kit. So you see, I’ve become “vigilant” about this issue. I’m the fucking Rainman of flossing.

Anyway, this round of oral surgery was to place two implants, one to replace a baby tooth that I never lost, and one to replace a botched root canal done by a dentist I no longer visit — except in particularly graphic nightmares.

After the surgeon made four unsuccessful attempts at placing an IV to knock me out, we decided it might be preferable to go with the laughing gas. Because I was in fetal position crying at the time, this sounded good to me.

They applied the Vader mask, and I immediately recalled how much I dislike laughing gas. I lost the bit of composure I’d managed to summon, and tears began to pool in my ears. When the Novocain took effect, I freaked, albeit in a very subdued, distant manner. A peek into my gas-addled mind:

It is clear I have no teeth. I am an ancient person whose toothless face is weathered with knowledge.

No. Wait. I am a baby with a round, toothless face, seeing every detail for the first time.

No! Wait! I am uncomfortably high.

To test the latter theory, I tried to lift my arm. Fail. Accordingly, I began to panic.

I am too high to lift my arm. I am entirely too high!! How can I possibly be of use? How can I help the periodontist complete this task? I am useless like this! USELESS!

Then I began to laugh uncontrollably, and my arm floated into view. I tapped the mask and said, “I. Hate. This. Shit.”

And that’s how I ended up having the surgery with a pint of Novocain and very little dignity. I can recall all the details of why my mouth feels like this, which is why I hope to drink heavily this weekend.

Tomorrow, do you want to talk about bone grafting? No? Aw. Let’s do it anyway.


Feb 3 2009


So, I bought a video by Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer, Tracy Anderson. I did this as part of my efforts to optimize, but also because I am over thirty. When you turn thirty, the mind-police arrive, flash this thing in your eyes, and suddenly you feel compelled to do anything Gwyneth Paltrow recommends.

(Related aside: I cannot stop talking about the things I saw on Oprah. As I will myself to shut up, I can hear my mouth charging ahead with enthralling anecdotes about the Olsen twins’ business philosophies (shut up!), extending your passion to the world (shut! up!), and S-shaped bowel movements (ohmydeargod, shut up!). It’s gotten so bad that I decided I had to stop mentioning Oprah’s name in conversation. So now I say, “I saw this thing on… TV about how your poop is supposed to be S-shaped?” And all the women around me nod knowingly.)

Anyway, I got the post-partum workout video even though I have a two year old, because the stuff I want to change about my body is mostly related to pregnancy. Also, I am weak as a hairless kitten. I have trouble summoning the muscle power to type this, and I try to reserve what little strength I have for lifting forkfuls of cheesy pasta to my lips. Taxing, that.

So I decided to start off slowly and build my workout confidence! I watched the video on fast forward, and Tracy barely seemed to move. Nearly all the exercises are on the mat, and supine is my preferred exercise position. Let’s do this thing!

I unrolled my mat, grabbed my weights, turned the video on, and ten minutes later I felt a grave uncertainty settle in. Holy mother of Mallowmar, people. I couldn’t safely complete the first section, let alone the whole video. Fifteen minutes in I was doing that crazed heyena whimper-laugh, closely followed by the rabbit death keen.

I had resolved to try it for seven straight days, but by the second day I couldn’t rise from a reclined position. I also couldn’t hold my head upright, and my tongue felt all achy. I stopped after the second workout in self defense, but a strange thing happened, dear reader. As my stomach fibers began to recongeal, I could see a difference! After two workouts! Bryan concurs that I am not hallucinating.

And so I’ve decided, again, to go at it for a week. Let’s see how this turns out. Please wave if you see me crawling on the sidewalk.

Jan 29 2009

Also Fanta Posse Sounds Vaguely Erotic

The Fanta Girls Are My Hip-Hop Posse
Say I’m too busy working on my streetwear line to find a posse. Enter the Fantanas, a pre-cast set of hot multi-ethnic chicks, ready to follow me around to parties. They’re never too exhausted to dance on the bar in my stead, and I’m pretty sure they never need to be fed or use the bathroom. That being the case, you may wonder why I wouldn’t call on the arguably more talented and media-savvy Pussycat Dolls. But I think someone is forgetting about the bottomless supply of second-rate mixers.