Monday, July 27, 2009
bad joke :)
But by default and without my consent, I have become the company's principal financial backer, its bumbling IT intern (I bought the domain humblebeginningspress.com but have no clue how to build a website) and its only sweatshop assembly line worker, who can fold stacks of invitations and maybe also make poor Nike (Nikey with a 'Y') knockoffs in dim lighting on the weekends. Babyboo keeps me on the job as an equal opportunity hire and because I do not complain when sexually harassed.
In the past year, Babyboo has gone head long into this venture and has found sick pleasures in draining our funds on letter press classes, large, cancer-radiating color printers and reams of paper that litter our apartment. The people at our neighborhood Kinkos know us by name because of late night paper cutting jobs and even call us pre-emptively on the weekend to see if we have any projects.
Recently, Babyboo has gotten a fair amount of orders and has even taken days off of work to design, order plates and complete jobs. Usually for me, come Saturday, my share of invitations to assemble are neatly placed in the corner for me to do. This past weekend, however, Babyboo had several orders and was forced to have me run an order for her on my own at the letter press studio (a promotion!).
I found that the process is extremely manual, very long and a little less enjoyable than stabbing oneself as one must set the pre-printed plates, ink up the rollers and then roll the press for each individual invitations (lather, rinse, repeat). If the invitation is multi-colored, one must do the same process over and over again for each color at a time. I did 200 invitations but it had 4 colors, so it was as if I had rolled 800 and it was on #650 that I realized how ridiculously whipped I am.
But the worst part of it was that when it was all done and over with, Babyboo looked the invitations over and saw that the printing plate had a typo on it where the wedding date read October 3rd, 2008. I started crying like the emasculated man I am but fortunately, as we wait for the next design, it looks like I know what type of sexy adventures are in store for this weekend. Unfortunately, the job security for this venture is 'till death do us part' and definitely 'for poorer'. Anyone looking for a job?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Throbbing headache and a difficulty enunciating words but luckily it is Friday.
Thirsty Thursdays took a new spin yesterday when a fun bunch went to Tao (website: http://www.taorestaurant.com/
Those words would come to haunt us.
She then prodded me to get a large bottle of sake for the table. I asked why but she just said that I should "just do it." And of course that was absolutely convincing enough for me to pull the trigger. I was so easy that she probably could have sold me floor mats, undersiding protection and the shirt that I was wearing at that point. She then unveiled this huge 'Magnum' Sake in grandiose fashion. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I expected a slightly larger one than a normal sake bottle but what came out was a propane tank of clear poison. She did not serve them in dinky shot glasses either but in what seemed like junior beer steins so that one gets a large mouthful each time.
Everything about the dinner was huge and made us 'over full'. I did not even wear a belt today because there was no need.
Even the fortune cookie that we had for dessert was almost as big as my head and filled with chocolate and vanilla creams (like in my head).
I am not sure what happened after that. I think at one point I was rubbing the belly of the large Buddha statue in the restaurant.
But after all that and a couple of pub stops later, I remember going home and found Babyboo with her girlfriends in our living room. I went to the bedroom to change and go back outside to be social but apparently I passed out and never made it. I woke up this morning shirtless and pantless and not being able to remember how that all happened. I think Babyboo took advantage of me! Damn you Magnum Sake!
Have a good weekend. Don't let it happen to you!
Monday, July 20, 2009
This weekend Babyboo and I attended a clam bake in Long Island. We had gone last year as well and I remembered how that first time, Babyboo let me intoxicate myself in a seafood seduction before subtly, slipping in the idea that it would be a mini-reunion with all of her high school girlfriends and their respective boy toys. What really happens at these girl fests is that the men get duped into coming and then are penned up in a room and watch TV in silence as the next guy after the next starts to pile in, each with the same defeated look, knowing that he just got punked, while the ladies are in the next room getting liquored up and of course, laughing at our expense.
This time was not that much different except it turned out I was one of the few guys who actually showed up this year (fool me once...) and also the only loser who showed up early so that I could be bossed around by the other girls and put to work shucking oysters, rolling crab cakes, and listening to why men are terrible. Babyboo kept herself busy and sedated by spiking..er mixing drinks and made hard iced tea lemonades with enough vodka to singe nose hairs and discovered an interesting combo of green tea with Hennessy whiskey that should cure arthritis and help grow hair.
Because Babyboo was busy brewing her jungle juice and ignoring me, I confess that I started fraternizing with the other ladies and shamefully made an emotional connection with one in particular; a large Rottweiler named Samantha who slobbered a thick drool all over me all night to mark me as her property. In fact, she became so protective of me that she growled at any of the girls that came near me, especially Babyboo (who did not fight for me).
The actual eating was delicious as we stuffed our faces with tubs of clams, mussels, and Maryland style crabs that made me sweat seafood. Eating those crabs, however, were quite frustrating, as one expends more energy cracking them open and searching for meat than actually getting full. And despite wearing a large moo-moo eating shirt, I quickly soiled it with all types of stains as did others such that I suggested that we eat shirtless or in swim suits and get hosed down later for quicker clean up (I was ignored).
The best part of the night was that somehow, Babyboo found herself in a crab eating contest with a large house of a man, nicknamed, 'Shamu' (like the killer whale, no joke!) who had even brought his own mallet and claw cracker to this event. But slowly but surely, she out ate him! I do not know if I should be proud or frightened at this result. Should I call her Shamboo now?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Yesterday, Babyboo and I attended a co-ed baby shower for one of our friends. Have you ever heard of such a thing? This was my first co-ed baby shower, if not my first regular baby shower to which I had ever been and I was initially skeptical of the "fun" it would entail (I love cooing at all the itty-bitty baby jammies like the next guy but that only lasts for an hour, then what?) or if dudes should even be present (we are a waste of space and rendered fairly useless after helping to initiate the pregnancy). So, what does one do at a baby shower? I blamed Babyboo for getting us into this mess as she created the invitations for the event and thereby, guaranteed our attendance.
At least, in the past, when Babyboo mandated me to accompany her to different, horrific events from the Sex and the City movie to expensive retail therapy sessions, I could find safety by falling asleep, hiding away into another store, or zoning out and commiserating with other significant others who have been equally tortured. At a baby shower, however, the quarters are tight and one cannot disappear in mind, body or spirit but instead, is forced to squirm secretly, while putting on a happy face for the expected couple and whispering 'serenity now' to oneself.
To offset these concerns, another couple joined us at our place prior to leaving for the event, and I can neither confirm nor deny that we may have pre-partied for the event to numb and ready ourselves. But my pre-conceived notions that this baby shower was going to be a boring, dry event with unoriginal games and bad food was shattered when our friend's mother-in-law showed up at this event bearing a bottle of Jack Daniels for the expectant mother. Then, we saw caterers bringing in trays of barbecue, fried foods and the kicker...a keg! Let the party begin! It turned out to be a great time and a true celebration of the couple and the golden bun in the oven. The environment was loose and easy with terrible jokes made and with several awesomely bad games played like, "What's in that diaper?" where guests guess at the contents of a simulated, soiled diaper.
When the expected couple started opening gifts, Babyboo and I waited in anticipation for ours to be opened. We had reviewed and studied the registry with great effort and saw that many large gifts had already been purchased. Not to be undone, we decided to package many smaller gifts based upon a common theme that made us giggle a little: nursing (i.e. breast feeding). I felt a little uncomfortable explaining the items I was looking for to the Babies R' Us employees. Not to be overly crude but we packed together valves, pumps, creams, pads, bottles and a great invention called "My Brest Friend" (no joke!) which is a firm pillow that wraps around the mother to help her and baby maintain ideal positioning during feeding, which ultimately prevents sore backs and strains (Great idea! Apparently, some single guy created it randomly.) Our gifts were a big hit and we have no doubt that the Lee's faces will be remembered whenever feeding happens (I guess that is what we wanted).
Does this mean I am ready for kids? Hell no! I'm ready for more co-ed baby showers
Saturday, July 11, 2009
What is he trying to say?
Come on! :(
Obese Exposed as Swine Flu Collides With Fat Epidemic 2009-07-10 00:44:26.280 GMT
By Jason Gale
July 10 (Bloomberg) --
An unexpected characteristic has emerged among many swine flu victims who become severely ill: They are fat.
Doctors tracking the pandemic say they see a pattern in hospital reports from Glasgow to Melbourne and from Santiago to New York. People infected with the bug who have a body mass index greater than 40, deemed morbidly obese, suffer respiratory complications that are harder to treat and can be fatal.
With the new virus on a collision course with the obesity epidemic, the World Health Organization says it’s gathering statistics to confirm and understand this development. Drugmaker Roche Holding AG is combing through studies to determine whether heavier people should get bigger doses of its Tamiflu antiviral.
"Morbid obesity is one of the most common findings turning up in severely ill patients," said Nikki Shindo, who is leading the investigation of swine flu patients at the WHO in Geneva.
"It’s a huge problem."
In Canada’s Manitoba province, three out of five people treated for the new flu strain in intensive care units are obese, said Ethan Rubenstein, head of infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Patients with flu symptoms should be considered at risk of complications if they carry excess weight, according to Rubenstein.
So far, the evidence is anecdotal. No global or national data have been reported. Scotland, where deep-fried foods such as Mars bars and pizzas contribute to the highest obesity rate in Europe, reported the continent’s first two deaths from H1N1 and has experienced a fifth of the region’s fatalities.
"We do seem to have more than our fair share of people in intensive care," said Hugh Pennington, 71, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen. "When the dust has settled, people will look at that."
No deaths or severely ill patients have been recorded from among the 2,146 laboratory-confirmed cases in Japan, said Yasuyuki Abe, a health ministry spokesman in Tokyo. Only 1.6 percent of adults in Japan are obese, according to the WHO.
"You don’t have to go to Scotland or Japan to figure this out," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. "About
75 percent of patients have underlying conditions, and clearly obesity stands out as a statistically significant factor involved in the seriousness of the disease."
It’s the first time that the prominence of obesity has been noticed among severely ill flu sufferers, Fauci said in an interview yesterday. "It’s very likely that if we went back retrospectively and looked at people who did poorly during seasonal flu, what would shake out is that obesity would be one of the risks," he said.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta noted the association among Californian
H1N1 patients in a May 22 report. The agency is investigating whether overweight people need different antiviral treatment or flu vaccinations. Last year, 26.1 percent of adults in the U.S. were obese, up from 25.6 percent in 2007, the CDC said in a July 8 statement.
"We were surprised by the frequency of obesity among the severe cases that we’ve been tracking," Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on May 19. "If there truly is an increased risk of severe complications on obese patients, it would be important to take steps to attend to that."
The bug is reported to have killed 429 people worldwide since its discovery in the U.S. and Mexico in April. The infection, which has now spread as far as New Zealand and Norway, causes little more than a fever and cough in most cases. The majority of those who died were pregnant, had asthma, diabetes or other chronic diseases, according to the WHO.
Drugmakers including Sanofi-Aventis SA, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Novartis AG are preparing vaccines to have them ready by the time the weather turns colder in the Northern Hemisphere later this year.
Some patients are showing up at hospitals with viral pneumonia so severe they are suffocating.
The first two people to die from the bug in Peru -- a 38- year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl from impoverished areas on the outskirts of Lima -- were both obese, El Peruano newspaper reported on July 6.
Scientists don’t yet know whether extremely overweight people get sicker because of associated conditions like heart disease and asthma, or whether the excess fat itself makes them more vulnerable. Both may be to blame.
Fat cells secrete chemicals that cause chronic, low-level inflammation that can hamper the body’s immune response and narrow the airways, says Tim Armstrong, a doctor working in the WHO’s chronic diseases department in Geneva.
What’s more, excess fatty tissue compresses the chest, and the fatty infiltration of the chest wall causes a decrease in lung function and an increase in the pulmonary blood volume, Armstrong said. "If you are obese, you tend to be less physically active and have an associated shallower breathing pattern. All these compound, leading to breathing difficulties."
The morbidly obese are also more likely to experience insulin resistance, a condition that makes it harder for doctors to lower the level of sugar in the blood of critically ill patients, said Greet Van den Berghe, head of acute medical sciences at Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven.
Studies in Mice
"The question has always been, is it the obesity or the other problems?" said Melinda Beck, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "There haven’t been studies that looked just at weight. In my research, it appears to be the obesity itself."
In mouse studies, flu killed about half of the rodents made obese by a high-fat diet, compared with a mortality rate of about 4 percent in lean animals, according to Beck’s research.
She is studying whether obese humans might need stronger doses of vaccine or a different method of delivery.
Of the first 32 people who died from swine flu in New York City, three-quarters had one or more underlying medical conditions, most often diabetes and heart disease, said Isaac B.
Weisfuse, deputy commissioner of disease control at the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Of seven with no known medical condition, at least four were reported to be obese, Weisfuse said.
The city plans to look at how many of the 32 patients were obese, Weisfuse said in a July 6 presentation to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm.
People may reduce their risk of developing complications from swine flu -- as well as many other diseases -- by maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and moderating alcohol intake, said Frederick Hayden, a clinical virologist at the University of Virginia.
Obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., U.K. and Australia during the past three decades, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The ranks of the overweight are also swelling in the developing world. In China, obesity doubled among women and tripled in men between 1989 and 2000 and it may double again in 20 years, according to research released last year in the journal Health Affairs.
Studies are needed to better understand the immune response of obese people and determine whether excess body weight impairs their ability to fight the infection, said Pamela Fraker, a professor of biochemistry at Michigan State University.
"It’s sort of strange that it’s been neglected with this major population," Fraker said. "We need to know about this for the further care and protection of the growing number of obese we have and for society in general."
--With assistance from Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh, Michelle Fay Cortez in London, Tom Randall and Elizabeth Lopatto in New York, and Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo. Editors: Marthe Fourcade, Phil Serafino, Kristen Hallam.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Babyboo and I came back from gallivanting in wine country all weekend in Northern California. And while we went there primarily for a friend's wedding, I do not believe Babyboo got the memo; she treated this trip as a vacation for herself as she booked spas, restaurants, vineyard tours, and wine tastings in a schedule so jam packed that she double booked us on the actual wedding day. (Whoops!) I wanted to start the trip out right and was so close to renting a cherry red Ford Mustang convertible but Babyboo promised me that I can have one later when I enter my mid-life crisis and instead, we opted for the equally as sexy and show-stopping (not really) but culturally appropriate (Korean) Kia Optima. Grreat! :(
Despite that initial hiccup, the trip proceeded amazingly as we were immediately baptized in a West Coast burger spiritual awakening at the first In-N-Out Burger (church for burgers) that we saw. I cradled my burger lovingly for a couple minutes before gorging. If you have never had it, it is something special:toasty bun, fresh beef patties (I think I heard the cows moo just outside) covered in melted cheese and grilled onions, hand-leafed/picked produce and all ready to be eaten with a fistful of freshly made fries (none of the ingredients are ever touched by microwave, heat lamp or freezer). The In-N-Out corporation is not paying me to endorse them, so I will stop lusting but order a "Double Double, Animal Style, with a Neopolitan Milkshake" if you ever head West.
With full bellies, we headed up towards Sonoma (50 miles north of San Fran) and hit up several wineries along the way. The micro-climates of the region were confusing and annoying as we started out in cold, foggy weather in one area but became hot, sunny and clear in another and I dearly wished I had brought my rip away hot pants for such occasions. All that attitude faded away after only a couple of hours and maybe it was the fresh air, the beating sun, the rolling hills or most likely, the flowing wine, but I felt myself unraveling from the stresses and tensions of New York and into a free-spirited, laid-back lull in what the locals call, "the Sonoma Coma."
Babyboo, however, was an utter taskmaster and had a (letter pressed) printed schedule (on invitation paper) of all the events she had planned for us. The worst of all was that while I was still dehydrated from the tastings before, she made us go on a 4 hour bike tour of surrounding vineyards. Biking + Wine tasting = Bad Idea jeans. I cannot emphasize how dangerous and dehibilitating this ride was with fears of getting 'BUI' citations (biking under the influence) and dealing with an uncomfortable bike seat that I believe has rendered me sterile (I am still waddling).
The wedding itself was beautiful, picturesque and seamless but we almost missed the whole thing. Our little confession is that hours before the ceremony, we went to an innocent, private wine tasting at an estate nearby but as we were tasting this and that, the proprietor became overly generous and opened several special bottles for us to which we could not refuse and we ended up completely over served. In dizzying fashion, I do not remember how we walked home but we definitely passed out in our room because I woke up with red wine stains on my shirt and a bag of spilled Cheetos crunching underneath me with only a half hour to the ceremony. Cold showers were had, liters of water were chugged and somehow we got ourselves to the wedding. The funny thing is, later as I was piecing the events from the afternoon, I found an order form receipt in my wallet for several large orders from the aforementioned proprietor. So that's how these places stay in business!