Thursday, October 20, 2011

Living On The Edge

Despite my current occupation, I’m a daredevil at heart. Accountants get a lot of bad press, and I’m not sure why. After all, engaging in mortal combat with the IRS isn’t for the faint of heart, is it?

But it’s more than that. It’s a reckless disregard for my personal safety, a willingness to go right to the edge of propriety, a longing for just a bit of almost danger, all while avoiding the IRS because we’re not, y’know, besties or anything.

Today I outdid myself, and I removed all the privacy settings on my Facebook account. I KNOW! I’m courting disaster and I feel all energized!

Since that worked so well for me (though there hasn’t been time yet for my new settings to put me in danger, though I’m sure by nightfall I’ll be totally sorry), I’m also going out to lunch without a knee brace or a patella strap. It’s all about living on the edge, though being unable to get either of those on underneath my jeans helps.

I’m considering having a milkshake on my way home. A totally milk-based product! If that’s not living on the edge, I don’t know what is. (And I’m not just referring to the edge of the toilet seat that’s probably in my future, if I should carry out this plan.)

I may leave my driver’s license at home today. How’s that for potential danger? What if I get pulled over for going 25 in a 45 zone? “License and registration,” the mean cop will say, and I’ll come back with, “Ha! Left my license at home! Now what are you going to do?” I really have no idea. I’ve never done anything as dangerous as this.

I’m just getting started here. I could write myself a really large check, more than I have in my account, and deposit it into another account, hoping I get more checks in the mail today! Well, wait, that’s a little too daredevilish even for me, so we’ll skip that one.

How about this one? I’m not going to floss tonight. Nope. No flossing tonight. Am I courting potential tooth decay and loss of teeth? YES!

I’ll check in later and let you know how it went. If I end up in jail, I’ll be calling for bail money. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“It’s Like Going to War”

I heard this on a commercial the other day, maybe for The Next Iron Chef. You know, where chefs compete to become television stars, if they aren’t already, by participating in cooking contests. I love a good cooking contest as well as the next person, so don’t get me wrong. Cooking competitions are fun. But apparently for chefs, it’s like going to war.

Really? Are people shooting at them while they’re cooking? Are bombs going off around them? Are IED’s littering the countertops? When they’re done with the competition will they return home with PTSD and an overwhelming urge to assimilate while being unsure how? Will they suffer bouts of anger, depression, and ennui? Or do they run the risk of not returning home at all when one of the competitors decides to Take The Competition Seriously and stabs them with a boning knife?

Okay, it’s true that I have no actual war experience myself. When I was in the military we were, nominally, at peace, and though we played at war for practice, there’s no way it could have been anything like actual war. I was aware of that when I was told to please lay on the body bag and then climb up into the truck myself, because if they’d zipped me up into the bag I’d 1) be unable to breathe, and then 2) gotten hurt when they’d throw my body bag up in into the truck, which is what would have happened if we’d been at war. Also, at the end of the day I got to leave the morgue and go back to . . . work. There’s nothing like a real war to show us that indeed, there’s nothing like war.

War is messy and icky and painful, and at the end the people who do get to come home don’t get awarded with a starring role in a television show. Though that’s not a bad idea, is it?

“It’s like going to war,” except it isn’t. But hey, who am I to say?

We love to exaggerate. Personally, I love to throw things in my writing like, “There’s absolutely nothing worse than . . . “ because, in real life, there are many worse things than whatever I’m saying, and while I’m not sure everyone else gets the irony, I do, so what else matters?

We love to appropriate inappropriate words and use them in a different context, especially if they’re powerful words. A favorite of mine is rape. “I’ve been raped by the government!” “I’ve been raped by big business!” “I’ve been raped by society!”

Whatever. When I hear this I immediately disregard whatever else the speaker is trying to say. If that’s the best they can do to describe what’s happening to them, I’m not inclined to hear any more. Maybe they’re right, and maybe they are being raped by amorphous entities who are holding them down and threatening their lives while . . . well, you know. Rape is a sexual assault. Maybe we should create a new word to describe what people think is rape, but isn’t. You go first. I’ll pick up on it later and find fault with it, if I can.

It’s what I do.

I’m going to work now, which is much like playing at war, in that I get to sit in a comfy office and get paid. At least that’s how I play war, I don’t know about you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cupcake Deficit Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

Let’s talk about cupcakes. I only say this because I am suffering from Cupcake Deficit Disorder. I’m not allowed many cupcakes because they have sugar in them, and I’m supposed to be avoiding the stuff. And no, I don’t want to know about any sugar free cupcakes. If I’m going to eat empty carbs, at least let them have sugar.

Cupcake Deficit Disorder, or CDD as we call it around here, can, if left untreated, affect the central nervous system. It can also increase crankiness and decrease libido (so I hear), as well as turn a completely normal day into a day of darkness, despair, and deceit. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is something we all need to avoid, isn’t it? Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

Which I’m not. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m the exact opposite of darkness and despair. And deceit. Though I am not unfamiliar with conceit and am actually quite well acquainted with it. The mere act of assuming anyone wants to read what I have to say on cupcakes proves that.

But back to CDD.

CDD has only one treatment that has been proven, in clinical trials, to be successful. And by clinical trials, I mean this is what I’ve determined works. And that is: Cupcakes.

Yes! The treatment for CDD is cupcakes!

There are several ways you can test this out for yourself, should you suffer from CDD. And how do you know if you suffer from it? There are several very clear indicators, among them:
  • Are you cranky first thing in the morning?
  • Do you find yourself daydreaming about butter cream frosting on a dark chocolate cake?
  • Do you find yourself making excuses to go by Cupcake Royale (or any similar cupcake shop) when you really didn’t need to be on that side of town at all?
  • Do you snap at your children, your husband, your wife, or your pets? (This is a very clear indicator.)
  • Do you dream of cupcakes when you sleep?
  • Do you lie awake at night counting cupcakes in an attempt to get to sleep?
  • Do you find yourself planning parties solely to have an excuse to have cupcakes?
  • Have you looked up the nutritional value of cupcakes hoping to find that they’re somehow good for you? (They’re not, so you might as well not even look.)
  • To pass time on the subway, do you imagine all the different cupcake and frosting combinations you can, and then write them down on a list that you later transcribe?
  • Do you have the iPad Cupcake app which tells you where the nearest cupcake shop is, wherever you might be? (This is the absolute best reason for owning an iPad, by the way.)

If you have any of the above symptoms, you just might have CDD. Or you may be naturally cranky. The only way to tell is to try treating CDD and see if that helps.
When treating yourself for CDD, or a loved one (sometimes loved ones don’t know they need treatment, so it’s quite all right if you force them to eat cupcakes since you’re doing it out of love), it’s important to remember that quality trumps quantity. You can either make them yourself, if you’re into that sort of thing, or you can go to a Specialty Cupcake Shop. I prefer the second method, since the idea of me baking sort of takes all the fun out of it.

(I love to cook, but baking isn’t cooking. Not only that, but then I end up with way too many cupcakes, and then I’d have to eat said cupcakes, and then you’d all have to come to my funeral after I’ve lapsed into a diabetic coma and died.)

When deciding on what sort of cupcake to treat yourself with (treat yourself with! It’s a play on words!) remember that quality comes first. To do it properly, make sure you know exactly what kind of cupcake you really need. Or cupcakes, if you’re going to be consuming more than one at a time. Fortunately there’s a wide variety of available flavors and types and combinations, so you should be able to find just the thing.

You may want to call ahead to make sure the cupcakes you want have just been baked. There is absolutely nothing worse than showing up at the Specialty Cupcake Shop only to find out that there is no chocolate raspberry left, and that you’ll have to wait until tomorrow. (If this happens, you may want to try throwing a tantrum. Perhaps the Specialty Cupcake Shop will be so in awe of your tantrum that they’ll make more just for you.)

When consuming your cupcake, you have to be in the right frame of mind. You have to WANT to get better. If you consume the cupcake(s) not really caring if you recover from CDD or not you’ll just want more cupcakes and be no closer to recovery. You will, however, be momentarily satisfied until you crave the next cupcake (which may take place in ten minutes, an hour, or three days).  

I’m going to treat my CCD now, and in short order my charming husband will be relieved to see me stress and despair free. Your results may vary.