The Fool-Proof Guide to Failing with Flair

Everything you need to know about getting it wrong.

Tag Archives: Health

Let’s Talk About Sex



Yesterday I watched a movie on Showtime that some friends recommended. It was more of a documentary, or as Patrick Moote puts it, a cockumentary. That’s right. It’s all about his small penis and it’s called Unhung Hero. It was amusing, enlightening, and a little bit sad.

Patrick is a stand-up comedian and actor from LA who proposed to his girlfriend on TV. She ran off camera directly following his proposal and apparently gave “small penis” as one of the reasons she would not marry the poor bastard. This fueled an epic bout of insecurity for Patrick who then bravely filmed his quest to find out if his dick was, in fact, too small, and his travels around the world in search of ways to make it bigger.

I won’t bother telling you all that happened in the film because, whether you are male or female, you need to watch it.  It is not in any way pornographic, though Patrick does talk to some porn stars, and there are some pretty graphic scenes. His honesty is stunning and his insecurity is hard to watch at times, but he is so genuine that his journey might just leave you with some new insights about body image, sexuality, and relationships. I know it did for me.

I think men and women, in general, tend to focus more on the female body and it’s “imperfections”. Media uses mostly images of women that already fall into the 1% for physique. Then the pictures get photo-shopped and airbrushed to take those women a few extra steps away from “normal”. This breeds rampant insecurity in women and unrealistic expectations in men. Unless you’re watching porn, you don’t exactly get to see lots of cock in the media. Sure, there are subtle (and not so subtle) image manipulations designed to give the impression that male models and celebrities are well endowed, but less physically fit famous men do not come under the same crushing body-scrutiny that their female counterparts do. Perhaps being a woman, I am more focused on the objectification of women in the media and it’s impact on female self-esteem, than I am on masculine body image troubles, but Patrick Moote’s film made me realize that the pressures on men in modern American society can be just as debilitating. I didn’t really need him to open my eyes. I have sons. One has an eating disorder. And, if I think about it, at least a couple of the lovers in my life have expressed pretty serious body-dissatisfaction. I guess Pat just gave the issue a public face for me.

Like many girls, I have been known to snicker to myself about guys with small peckers who feel insecure about their junk. It has seemed only fair that they should experience some of the same sort of pain and helplessness we ladies endure. After watching poor Patrick obsess and go to extreme lengths over just a single (albeit important) appendage, I feel somewhat ashamed of my private cruelty. I’ve never ridiculed any man to his face or broken off a relationship because a guy wasn’t well hung, but I have lampooned the unfortunate few behind their backs once the relationship was over. It was mostly out of spite at being scorned though, as opposed to any real problem I had with their family jewels. If I like someone well enough to want to get naked with them and engage in sex, I am generally just pleased if the feeling is reciprocal. Chemistry, generosity, and skill in the bedroom are much more important than how long or thick a guy might be. At least for me that is true. There have even been times where chemistry alone was enough to keep me coming back for more. Of course, without more than chemical compatibility, anything lasting is doomed, but a guy with a small dick who is fun, creative, giving, and intelligent will always be more attractive to me than a clumsy Neanderthal packing 10 inches. Just now the issue is moot, and likely to remain so into the foreseeable future, but I’m not becoming a nun. I still like men. And their boy-parts.

I’ve never been overly concerned about penis size, but then again, I don’t own one. I have seen a few over the years, and they haven’t all been above average, but I’ve only ever been disappointed with what sometimes comes attached to them: assholes. If you’re a man, no matter what size your penis is, remember, it’s usually the whole package someone else is interested in. If you’re unfortunate enough, like Mr. Moote, to have some heartless woman sell you out over the size of your dick, remember, she’s the one with the problem, not you. Just don’t be a selfish prick.


Over The Hill



Anyone with children, or over the age of 30, is aware that time seems to pass exponentially faster each year. What no one wants to believe is that it’s not an illusion or a trick of perception. It’s not. Time really does pass differently as we age. When we are young time drags on us. A single school day lasts for a month. Birthdays come once a millennium. Waiting to be old enough to drive or vote or drink feels like slow torture, but we measure time by the future and with anticipation. Somewhere in our 20’s that starts to change and by our 30’s it shifts completely. There is never enough time to get everything done and all the fun stuff about getting older is at least a decade behind us. When we hit our 40’s, we begin measuring time with the past and the future becomes a bully.

I am getting old. It’s still better than the alternative but, like many before me, I’m gonna whine about it anyway. My knees creak. My digestive system is plotting its next act of espionage. My already sluggish metabolism can’t keep up with a snail now. I can no longer read anything smaller than a street sign without glasses. The neural pathways in my brain are overgrown with mental weeds, and my insomnia is so rampant that I have begun to look forward to the age when I start nodding off randomly in the middle of conversations the way my father used to do.

It’s not just me though. Lots of my friends are going through the same crap. I worry about them now the way I worry about my children, and I fear that we are drawing ever closer to the point where most of our discussions will be about our bowel habits, lost eyeglasses and how expensive our blood pressure medication has become. There will be long pauses as we wrack our brains for the right word or name of something, and conversations will end abruptly because, while paused, we will forgot what we were trying to say anyway.

I have never had any real hang ups about how many candles are on my birthday cake and I still have a couple of years before I hit the half century mark. I wouldn’t be terribly concerned about the numbers 5 and 0 coming to pay me a visit together except that I’m convinced those treacherous bastards are conspiring against me with gravity and my mirror. I suppose all I can do is hope I’m still around, and capable of welcoming them home graciously, so they don’t just barge in and wreck the furniture. On the bright side, I suspect that by the time they arrive my eyesight will be so far gone that their pranks with my mirror will all be in vain.

I know I’m not so chronologically challenged yet that I can’t clean my proverbial house or try to paint it a new color. In a way, it’s almost a good thing that I have to re-make certain parts of my life from scratch. It allows me to measure time by the future and with anticipation again. The future is still a bully, but I think I’m ready to fight back now.



Name Calling



I’ve had another request from Dirty Girl, aka J. She doesn’t like her name. She filed her inquiry through the correct channels and henceforth she will be known as “Moniker”. I started using pseudonyms to try to distinguish between, and easily identify, anyone I mention here more than once. I don’t know about any of you but, at this point, I’m so confused I can’t tell if it’s me or Moniker who has multiple personality disorder. Like any typical cell phone plan, Moniker is now ineligible for a name-upgrade for the next 18 months. Not even if she pays full price.

Bear is also unhappy with his name but has failed to file the proper paperwork. As a result, his request has been denied. He can find the correct forms somewhere on the IRS website. It can take up to 12 weeks to receive a name refund.

I’m sure The Man in Tights, aka “my old flame” is none too happy about his appellation(s) either. It could be a lot worse though. Unfortunately for him, since he played a recurring role as “the toddler/shellfish” in my most recent long-term relationship failure, and filed false charges against Rodney, he has no standing to complain. It doesn’t matter that there was no possible way for him to know I would start writing a blog and use our relationship as career-kindling. Ignorance is not an acceptable defense, though I might get an ironic kick out of it if he tries. He may not even realize he’s been renamed unless he still pokes around here from time to time, playing grammar-nazi. If he does then perhaps he’s even a little secretly pleased with the notoriety. It means he still takes up some space in my brain and that a couple of his fingers continue to be capable of pushing my buttons. It also means my relationship attorney has agreed to a continuance on the emotional eviction proceedings. I hate lawyers.

The Meanest knows darn well how she earned her handle. She has a tee shirt that says she is too.

I do owe my sister (Sis) a public apology along with the private one I issued already. We have our truths and troubles, like all sisters, but some of them still grow a little too close to the heart for public consumption. She has not been silent or skeptical about my new efforts and her right to expect more from me is highly justified. She was the first person I called when I got the offer to possibly write for cash instead of crazy and she will, without the slightest doubt, be first in line to cheer my every little success. She has never failed me romantically (that would be creepy), nit-picked about my spelling or grammar, filed false charges against any of my imaginary boyfriends, gotten drunk and hit me, eaten my bacon, or left her plants in my care (which makes her smart). I can’t promise never to talk about any of our childhood scuffles but I can say that, when all is said and done, I really couldn’t ask for a better sister.

Spinach and Scales



It isn’t especially unique to fail at dieting or exercise. Pretty much everyone I have ever known has tried one or the other. Most of them have given up or given in to cravings and their own basic laziness. A  few have managed, after several attempts, to maintain healthy eating and exercise lifestyles. I am not one of those few. It’s hard. Life gets in the way. Bacon gets in the way.

I hate scales. I refuse to get on the one at the doctor’s office. It lies. There is one scale I will get on and that’s the one I have at home. The floors in my apartment are decidedly not level. If I move my scale from place to place I can get it to produce results that fluctuate up to almost 10 pounds, depending on which room, and what section of the floor I place it on. Every few days I bring it down off the shelf to see if I have magically lost 70lbs overnight and my body just hasn’t deflated yet. I carry the scale from room to room and spot to spot until I get a reading I can live with for the next few days. Today (Friday), according to the kitchen tile directly in front of my refrigerator, I am 7 pounds lighter than I was on Wednesday per the corner of the bathroom floor. Fantastic! Now all I need to do is find the spot in my apartment where my pants agree with my scale. That part might be a bit trickier. Will the pants just go back to fighting to contain my ass the minute I step out of the skinny zone?

I have tried all kinds of diets and I have even had long-term, monogamous relationships with several gyms over the years. Right now, like in my romantic life, I do not have any aerobically inclined intimate relationships. I haven’t had so much as a short term fling in almost a year. I haven’t seen my sneakers in months. They probably went out for a run and just kept going. No point in returning home just to hang out in the back of my closet.

I tried Weight Watchers a few years back. I actually lost a great deal of weight. I was in an exclusive relationship with the local YMCA as well and we were all quite happy together. Then I went out on my own as an attorney and my youngest son started high school in a different town. The YMCA and Weight Watchers meetings were not local to my life any longer and, slowly but surely, one at a time, my old friends, sizes 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 came back from their extended vacations. It didn’t help that my husband (who had done WW as well and had his own extra-marital affair with the YMCA) was still losing weight and now had food-related OCD which made him obsess, out loud, about every last thing he ate. I think I got fat again partly in protest. (I didn’t lie when I said self-sabotage was my specialty.) 8, 10, 12 and 14 have now gone off again to some remote location but 16 has been hanging around for the last few years. She took a brief hiatus a little over a year ago when 14 came for a visit but 14 is gone again and 16 has taken up residence with me in my tiny apartment. She sits in my chair all day and eats all my food.

A few weeks ago, after waking up in the middle of the night a couple of times, suffering from food and alcohol over-consumption, I took 16 on a little trip to see my local GI. I have had digestive issues in the past and was starting to think my gallbladder, which gave up the ghost during my fling with WW and the YMCA, had returned to haunt me. The GI told me my gallbladder had moved on and no exorcism was required. Instead he suggested that I eat more frequent, smaller meals and cut down on the booze. I didn’t want to feel like I had wasted my 25 dollar co-pay on this brilliantly logical advice, so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. Not surprisingly, it has worked in helping me avoid middle-of-the-night gastrointestinal distress. It has also resulted in my having a healthier diet over all. I live alone and buying food and cooking for only one person is a nuisance. I end up either eating the same thing day after day or wasting a lot of food. Now I eat a lot more raw fruit and vegetables because they come naturally in individual serving sizes. Except spinach. Spinach comes in huge bags and gets all wilt-y and gross really quickly.

My stomach feels much better most days now and my scale, even placed in the fattest spot in my apartment, registers about 12 lbs below it’s highest previous point. My pants are starting to get on board with the program and 14 called me a couple days ago to say that she might come see me soon. 16 is a little bit disgruntled but she needs to get outside for some fresh air soon. When she goes I’m changing the locks. I may even decide it’s time to get intimate again with some weights and a treadmill.

Not Your Cup of Tea

Found at Happy Hour Art on  by Anita Vasquez-Centeno

Found at Happy Hour Art on by Anita Vasquez-Centeno

Earlier today I ran into an old flame. He is still a friend of mine on Facebook and, in theory at least, he is still a friend. I knew this blog would not necessarily be his literary “cup of tea” and that I risked criticism from him by posting in a place he could see but I was unprepared for my delayed anger over his response to my new venture.

Our overall exchange was pleasant enough. I don’t see him all that frequently any more. We don’t text or talk much and I have cut back on evenings spent at the local bar where we both hang out. I ran into him by chance and, as we were saying “hello”, another friend of ours drove by and called me Effie. My former flame was confused. I told him I had started a blog and was using a pseudonym. He still seemed confused. I was ready to dismiss it since he is not on Facebook frequently and could very easily have missed the promotional posts I made on my personal page. But then he “remembered” that he had seen the posts and had actually read some of my blog articles. There were no compliments about my writing or congratulations that I was finally doing something constructive but I really hadn’t expected any from him. Non-backhanded compliments are not his style. He did, however, say that he had noticed a very small spelling or grammatical error on one of the posts and had taken pleasure in that fact. At the time I just let the comment go.

There is a degree of intellectual competitiveness to our relationship that has always gotten under my skin even though I am equally responsible. I beat him at Words With Friends about 70% of the time–I know, I paid for the add-on that tells me this–and he will no longer play me in Scramble. He maintains that I may have some marginally greater ability with language but that he is superior in all other areas. It drives me bonkers. To be fair, he used to be a high school history teacher and his knowledge of history, both past and present, far exceeds mine. He also knows more about sports and maybe science (as long as it’s not human health and biology) but I could hardly care less about sports, and a man who doesn’t know what his own prostate is or does has a long way to go before I give him greater scientific props. His absurd and infuriating claims extend from telling me he has read more books than I have (how the heck could he possibly know that?) to informing me that he has more developed interpersonal skills. WTF? My opinion of the latter insult is that anyone running around telling one of their friends that they are the better friend has negated that statement simply by making it.

As you can tell, I am still quite riled up about our recent exchange and it has stirred up a lot of old peeves as well.

Given the fact that, at this point, it’s likely that at least a few of the people who know about and read my blog also know both me and the man I am speaking about (he may even read this as well, hunting for more evidence that I am less-than), I should probably feel some shame at airing this dirty laundry here. I don’t. What I feel ashamed about is the fact that I went home a few hours after our run-in and obsessively re-read all of my posts. I didn’t see any glaring mistakes. I didn’t even see any small mistakes. I could have missed something and I may well make spelling or grammatical mistakes now or in the future but I check what I write pretty thoroughly before I post because even the smallest error makes me cringe. I have always been like that but now I have his voice in my head, gloating over even my tiniest missteps. It makes me angry with him but mostly it makes me angry with myself for allowing him to sap a little joy out of my day, and inject a little more insecurity, for doing something that makes me feel like I won’t always be a failure. Shame on him and shame on me.


So here it is, the little smoking vignette that jump-started this whole thing for me:

I would like to fail at smoking. Right now I am a smashing success. It has been pathetically unusual for me to have many successes these days but smoking seems to be my greatest daily accomplishment. I have some mid-range success at drinking (booze, that is) but I’m not sure I will ever reach the pinnacle (or pit) required to motivate me to fail at it. I never forget to have a cigarette with my coffee or after breakfast, lunch and dinner however. I always remember to smoke at the bar and in my car (feeling a little Dr. Seuss here) and before I go to bed. Who knew I could be so good at something? I forget my vitamins on a regular basis. Dishes are always piling up in the sink and the recycling has been sitting by my trash can for weeks, but I remember to smoke every single day. I’m kind of a savant at it. That and word games. Everybody’s gotta have something they’re good at, right? Well I have decided I would rather be an accomplished breather. Stunning, I know. I mean everyone breathes! You’d think I might want to be good at something a little more unique, like cliff diving or toenail art. Truth be told, when it comes to cigarettes, I’ve already smoked the competition. It’s getting old but the field of breathers offers a whole new range of possibilities. Maybe I can be the best. In the end I will surely fail but everyone does.

P.S. Currently I’m still a successful smoker. I’ll get around to failing one of these days . . .

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