The Shape of Things

shape

Most of us obsess about body image – especially around the New Year resolution time of the year.  I can’t say that I ever really gave it a lot of thought although some of you might argue that I probably should have.

For most guys, our healthy egos keep us firmly planted in the the ‘Damn, I look good‘ fantasy, so we tend not to shame ourselves about our shape or about putting on a few extra pounds as much as the stronger sex does.

My Uncle would joke that his doctor tells him that if he were an inch taller, he’d be round – then we’d laugh and laugh…and eat bacon cheeseburgers.

People come in all shapes and sizes, and no matter how many tofu burgers or yoga classes they attend, they ain’t getting any taller or making their legs longer.  I really admire their tenacity and dedication though.

My overall size and shape hasn’t changed much in the past 20 or 30 years, not because of any stringent ritual of healthy diet and exercise, but probably because God figured going grey at 30 and having a bad complexion were enough of a burden for one guy.

I can pretty much always buy the same size pants off the rack – wider than long, but consistent.  I always figured my body shape was pretty normal.

That is, until I took a trip to China.

In China, I was lucky enough to have a business suit custom tailored from scratch – every measurement and seam was made just for my less than perfect body.

I picked out the style and the material, then the tailor went to work, measuring stuff that I figured he had no business measuring, but what did I know? I’ve never had a suit made just for me before.

tailored-suit

The tailor hand-delivered it to my hotel room but I didn’t get to try it on before I flew home.  When I did, the jacket was perfect – shoulders fit beautifully, buttons did up without me having to suck in a lot of air, arm length left just enough room for shirt cuffs. Perfect!

But there was something wrong with the pants.  The length was exactly what it should have been, but when I pulled them up they’d just slide right down – in fact, they wouldn’t stay up at all unless I cinched in the belt.

The tailor must have mis-measured my waist somehow.  Funny, since the waist is generally the most important measurement in pants, right?  But that really wasn’t it either – the did fit around my waist properly.  They just didn’t fit but they still fit.

I don’t wear suits a lot, but every time I’d wear this one, the pants just wouldn’t stay up on their own.  Then it finally dawned on me.  The pants were tailored to my exact shape…

old-ass

Apparently I have no ass!  The pants slide off because there’s nothing there to hold them up.  I hate that tailor!  All the pants off the rack have a built-in butt, so I never noticed this deformity until that guy in Shanghai exposed it in his own passive way.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a flat butt isn’t the worst body issue one could have.  Maybe if I wore high-heels, it would perk up a bit.

Twerking is definitely off my bucket list, though.

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Do they call it ‘Chinese Food’ in China?

DSCF1557If you ever find yourself standing on a street corner in Shanghai, you might find these handy tips helpful – I wish I had them before I went there…

  • It’s really, really far away…like on the other side of the world far away.  You should pack some snacks for the trip….and definitely go to the washroom before you leave.
  • You will stand out.  Especially if you’re ‘Caucasian’ with white hair.  It’s like ‘Where’s Waldo’, but the total opposite.
  • Crosswalks are for dare-devils…unless your host insists that it’s okay for you to step out into traffic, ‘because the locals are terrified of killing a foreigner’.
  • If you have a language barrier, giving them the ‘thumbs up’ sign of approval doesn’t translate.  They probably think you’re asking to hitchhike.
  • Massages are very popular there – everyone goes to get massages…but if a lady approaches you on the street and asks if you want a massage, say no.  In fact, just walk away and pretend you didn’t see them.
  • People will try to sell you Rolex watches that only cost $50 here….see above.
  • $1 = 5 RMB (Chinese Dollars) and you should haggle down to less than half of any price for merchandise.  Make a ridiculous offer, and when they say ‘no‘, just walk away – they’ll come and find you.
  • You won’t find Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls on any menu, but you will find jellyfish, duck tongues, eel, snake, and other things you didn’t know you could eat.
  • When your host offers you an exotic dish that you really aren’t interested in trying, it’ll get put on your plate anyway….and you better eat it.
  • Forks and knives look like 2 sticks…it’s okay to stab your food with them.
  • Don’t drink the water unless it comes in a bottle or has been boiled….just trust me on this one.
  • Tea comes in 2 flavors; black or green. Both are safe to drink.
  • There’s a lot of people there…like more than you can count.  Even if you could, double it.
  • The roads seem the same as here, but 4 lanes means between 3 and 6 lanes of traffic there, and the lines are only vague recommendations.
  • The concept of personal space on the subway in Shanghai doesn’t exist.  Have a mint before commuting.
  • The police drive around with their emergency lights flashing, but they don’t seem to be going anywhere in particular, and no one gets out of their way.  I don’t know what would happen in a real emergency….for example, if a foreigner gets run over at a crosswalk.

For more travel tips, check out my blog; ‘No Gravy for Old Men’.

https://troypulchinski.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/no-gravy-for-old-men/comment-page-1/

The Deliberate Blog

I’m starting to see a pattern with my blogs.  At least, I see a pattern of viewer feedback, or lack thereof, depending on my topics.  (ROB FORD)

I want to try something a bit different this time, and cover a bunch of topics that I’ve had collecting dust on my thought shelf.  (GUN CONTROL)

You see, I think that some subjects resonate more than others, so even when you think you’ve got a totally awesome blog written, you sometimes come up empty on ‘likes’, comments, and site hits.  (STEROIDS)

This blog will contain very subtle subliminal messages, that you won’t see, but that will trigger a subconscious reaction you will want to act upon.  This has been tried with laboratory rats, but unfortunately they can’t read, so the results were inconclusive.  The good news is only 3 of the 5 rats died – something about a gas leak in the lab.  (DISCRIMINATION)

With that little nugget of information, you can understand why I’m writing a blog that covers a myriad of topics.  I need feedback! (MILEY CYRUS)

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I was watching one of those home video shows, where people submit things like Grandpa blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, and instead, launching his dentures into the now ruined dessert.  There was a brief video of a little kid in a karate Gi, kicking his father where a father shouldn’t be kicked.  (UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE)

That happened to me.  My daughter was about 4 (probably older, but the memory is the first to……..what was I saying?), and we had her in karate lessons.  The Gi was so big on her, that my wife had to hem the pants completely in half just to make them short enough.  She was adorable!  (SYRIA)

We were in the kitchen, and I was helping her to practice breaking out of a hold.  She was to use her wrist to hit mine, getting me to let go of her, then she was to kick me ‘in the nuggets’ to try to knock me down, then run away.  Of course, we were doing this all in pretend, and in slow motion so she could remember what to do.  (ASSISTED SUICIDE)

We were both laughing while she gingerly moved her hand down to break my grip.  I let go of her, then asked her what came next.  She said ‘Oh yeah’, then like some miniature ninja, sprung up, and swung her little foot as high and as hard as she could, connecting with the ‘nuggets’ perfectly. (CHINA)

I hit the ground like a bag of hammers, the wind knocked out of my lungs.  As I hit the floor, she then completed the move by kicking me once more then running away.  Once I came to, I couldn’t decide if I was more proud or in pain.  All I could do was squeak out ‘go get your mother’.  (CRACK COCAINE)

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I read an article once, where a business leader was tasked with opening a new office.  After looking at some best practices, consulting with other professionals, and digging into what new employees want, he came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t open any office at all.  (CREATIONISM)

Instead, he set up the new business completely as a ‘tele-commute’ operation.  Every employee would work from their own homes, and connect through the cloud to conduct their business or hold meetings.  (WORLD HUNGER)

I’m starting to wonder if some schools and other institutions should try to follow the same model.  I live in an area of rapid growth.  The elementary school, which is less than 10 years old, has had to split it’s higher grade students into the local high school because of overcrowding.  Bad planning?  Maybe.  The trouble is, we invest in these static, very expensive structures that can’t mold with the changing demographics.  In other areas of the same school board, classrooms sit empty because the school-aged population has moved away.  (DISTRACTED DRIVING)

We need to take a different approach to urban/suburban development so that we can grow and shrink with the needs of the community.  Perhaps this business leader can be the genesis of a completely new way of blueprinting community development.  (CLIMATE CHANGE)

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Last weekend, our son was home from university to visit my father.  We took him and his girlfriend back right around supper time (how convenient!).  We decided to hit a restaurant near the school.  When we got there, the hostess said we could choose to sit in the restaurant side or the lounge side, where all those giant flat screen TV’s are blasting sporting events. (GAMBLING)

Just as the overly friendly hostess grabbed a stack of menus, a small herd of screaming kids trampled past us at 150 decibels in the restaurant side.  The lounge won.  I can learn to like cricket!  (OBESITY)

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There must be a universal force that overrides peoples brains when they park.  In our neighbourhood, the streets are the perfect size for cars to pass each other, going in opposite directions.  That’s what they were built for.  Sometimes cars will park on the street, making it a bit of a tight squeeze when cars pass at the same time.  (CULTS)

Here’s what I don’t understand.  When there is a car parked on one side of these narrow streets, what cosmic force tells another driver to park EXACTLY across from them on the other side of the street?  It happens all the time, and virtually grinds local traffic to a standstill.  (ABORTION)

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I hope you enjoyed my little ‘kitchen sink’ blog of random topics, and I want to thank you for participating in my subliminal messaging experiment on the responses to blogs.  (GAY MARRIAGE)

As an FYI, I have now found work, so this may be my last blog since I’ll be so busy.  Hope you had as much fun reading them as I’ve had writing them.   (BACON)