Friday, June 04, 2010


So, a perky woman sold me some vitamins yesterday. I opened my first packet a few minutes ago, swallowed the contents (six pills), and I'm sitting here waiting for them to kick in. I tricked myself into swallowing them two at a time by doing what the saleswoman suggested, which is to put two on your tongue, making sure one of them is slippery, then swallowing them together. I did that, and it worked. Just like a cool hat trick a magician might pull.

Swallowing large pills, bitter or otherwise, is difficult and unpleasant for me and this is one of the reasons I have never really developed the habit of taking vitamins regularly. The typical vitamin is huge. And I typically choke on them. Seriously, I have memories of painful episodes where I ended up throwing away some damn pill that had been in my mouth too long, melting into my tongue. One unsuccessful attempt after another, trying to force the foul-tasting thing down.

Another reason I have avoided vitamins is that I've long been of the opinion that food and drink ought to provide all the nutrients we need. And that may well be true, especially if one is careful to plan nutritious and healthy meals. But now that I'm taking vitamins, and I do plan to continue (I think), maybe I can slack a little on nutrition. After all, with each little packet I open, I'm getting all those vitamins and other nutrients!

I can eat anything I want now. Bring on the Twinkies, the cheeseburgers and greasy fries. Give me an extra helping of ice cream, too, because it's all I'm having for dinner tonight and that big bowl I intend to down is not going to hold me for very long.

Yikes. I hope you know I am kidding. But really, the tempting thought of how easy it would be now to really slack as far as nutrition goes, using the excuse that I'm all charged up on super-vitamins, is entertaining.

The real reason, however, that I am now taking vitamins is twofold. One, I am seeking my daughter's approval. She's been bugging me about this for a long time now. Two, I have reached the half-century mark in age and realize my body is in decline.

As I stood there in the health and nutrition store, listening to (and especially watching) the saleswoman rave about how great those pills make her feel, I could almost feel myself perking up, even though I had yet to down a single pill. Just think, I could come to feel as good as she seems to feel. And wouldn't that be great. I'd get so much more done, would stop feeling so lethargic and depressed, my crankiness would be all but gone.

I might not even recognize myself! Hey, maybe I'll become a whole new person with this sudden burst of new energy. We'll see. In any event, it sounds like a good idea so I'll give it a try.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Ghosts That Haunt Me, Part III

Think I'll wrap this one up today. I started this series of posts as a writing exercise, suggested by one of the writers in my little bard club, to explore the territory covered in "Superman's Song," by the Crash Test Dummies. I had never heard of the song when it was suggested, and actually wasn't too familiar with the band either. My daughter thinks they "suck" but I am willing to give almost any band a chance, not being much of a music snob. This is not to suggest that my daughter is a snob when it comes to music. She is a musician and rather discerning about her likes and dislikes. This morning, I had the pleasure of sitting on her bedroom floor and listening to her pick away on her oud. Quite lovely, soothing.

Anyway, here is the subversive bit of controversial nonsense I came up with this morning:

Supe's Dead, the headline reads. Superman represents the ideal arbiter of truth and justice. Real men aren't supermen, though.

The city is its own jungle. Real men adapt to their environments. If criminals are the "norm," men conform to that norm. If they refuse, they fight a losing battle.

It's not fair that people are taxed for things they don't use or care about, but just try to avoid paying taxes. We adapt to cultural norms, all the while railing against them.

Marriage and monogamy, disgusting. But just try breaking free of a family unit and see what happens. No thanks. I've seen it at a distance and I'll keep the monotony. Triangle of M: Marriage, Monogamy, Monotony. The holy trinity of cultural strangulation, choking the life out of many of us who choose, yes choose, to live this way.

Where's Superman when you need him? He's an ideal; he's not real. He provides a kind of service for the comic book characters with whom he shares the stage (frame). Supercop, defeating super-badguys. In real life, even the supposedly good guys are badguys. Gotta be a criminal in society to be a contributing member of it, propping up "the system" with our monetary obligations.

Don't take me there. I'm pissed off enough as it is, without consciously thinking about the war machine, such as it may be. This beast, created by mankind, for the purpose of defending liberty and democracy. Yeah, right. Like I said, don't get me started.

Of course we need Superman! How could we live without an ideal figure representing truth, justice, and the American Way? Oh, ha ha ha ha. An American writer created him, remember? Let's not get started on that theme! America the superpower. Now there's the root of all our problems: American power. Sick, twisted, perverted "justice" that allows criminals to keep running things and the goodguys to suffer.

Oh wait, who are they? The good guys. I keep forgetting. We need memorials erected to keep them in our minds and hearts. War heroes? No, those are the standard Army-issue variety. Let's come up with some real heroes.

This takes me back to a blog I wrote awhile back, Heroism. Actually, it didn't start out as a blog entry. This was an academic paper I turned in to one of my professors, in the fall of 2006, when I first went back to school to get my master's degree.