Should I Try Trump’s Workout?

President Trump, Trump's weight, Trump's physical, fitness, health, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherI don’t know about you, Modern Philosophers, but I’m curious to give President Trump’s workout a try.

According to the doctor who conducted the President’s annual physical, he is in tip top shape.  Clearly, Trump tries to confuse us all by wearing that fat suit every day, but I’m sure he has his reasons.

I bet it has something to do with national security.

The doctor said Trump was 6’3″ and 239lbs.  I’m also that height, but there’s no way that the President and I are that close in weight.

One of us needs a new scale.

Or I need to change doctors.

As you know, I have been on a fitness tear since last April when I started my current workout program.

I fun five days a week, push myself to get 20,000 steps a day, and sprinkle in some weightlifting when I’m feeling particularly manly.

By following that regimen, I’ve managed to lose over 60 lbs.  I still have a ways to go, but I feel good about my health, the way I look, and where I will be if I continue with this plan.

I am also not at all delusional about my current state of physical fitness.

President Trump, Trump's weight, Trump's physical, fitness, health, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherI worked damn hard to get to this point, but I know I’m still overweight and need to keep at it before I can say I’m truly physically fit.

President Trump has never met a cheeseburger he doesn’t like.  But at least he washed them down with Diet Cokes.

His workout regimen appears to be limited to multiple daily reps of demeaning and criticizing people (sometimes on Twitter, sometimes in front of cameras…you know, to mix it up and keep the workout fresh) engaging in excessive boasting, and occasionally working his glutes with spankings from an adult movie star.

Why I am working so hard?  This past week, I broke the 170,000 step mark for the first time.  In Trump terminology, that number is slightly more than what is needed to pay the aforementioned trainer/adult film star for her silence.

After all, he can’t have her telling the other world leaders about his special workouts.

President Trump, Trump's weight, Trump's physical, fitness, health, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m curious to see how President Trump’s take on physical fitness is reflected in the President’s Physical Fitness Award.

Something tells me that the Trump version might be conducted at a McDonald’s rather than in a school gymnasium.

Come to think of it, Trump looks more like Grimace than an athlete.

Maybe this will mark the first time students will earn the award for not following the President’s workout requirements.

Or perhaps the awards will now be found inside of Happy Meals.

All I know for sure is that Mexico is going to pay for it.

This is a lot to think about, Modern Philosophers.  I’ll probably ponder it tomorrow morning when I get up before dawn to go for a run.

President Trump, Trump's weight, Trump's physical, fitness, health, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherThen again, I could bounce it around my brain when I’m in bed later, finishing off a yummy cheeseburger.

It must be really tough to be President and put in the work needed to look that good…

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The Gym Ring Of Hell

humor, short story, The Devil, running, high school gym class, Modern Philosopher“I know you’re an out of control running machine now, but what were you like back in gym class when the teacher forced you to run laps?” The Devil asked with mischief in his voice.

My annoying Sunday guest was dressed, as always, in an impeccably tailored suit that cost more than a year’s worth of payments on my new car.

I, on the other hand, was comfy cozy in ratty sweats and a fleece, having recently showered after my morning run.

Net cost of my ensemble: dirt cheap at the thrift store.

“I absolutely hated running in gym class,” I confessed with just a tinge of anger as a rampaging river of bad adolescent memories flooded my brain.  “I was not an athlete.  Running was not my thing.  I resented the teachers for making me do it, and I’d spend the entire run plotting my revenge.”

“It was really that bad?” Lucifer asked as he handed me a Snapple to ease the pain of my horrific flashbacks.

“We rarely had to run in grammar school,” I explained after taking a long, refreshing sip of my iced tea.  “The Nuns were harsh task masters, but they apparently liked doing the torturing themselves.  If we ever did run back in those days, it might have been a lap around the basketball court to pass some obligatory physical fitness test.”

“So I take it the nightmare began in high school?” The Prince of Darkness asked with glee in his eyes.  “Tell me how the mean gym teachers hurt you.”

“I went to high school not far from Central Park, so when it was time for the running portion of the gym schedule, we’d be marched out there to our inevitable doom,” I responded far too dramatically as a chill ran down my spine.

I chugged the rest of my Snapple in one, huge gulp.  This conversation was forcing me to open a vault of memories that had been sealed shut for a reason.

humor, short story, The Devil, running, high school gym class, Modern Philosopher“Central Park is beautiful, though,” Satan added, most likely, just to annoy me.  “So much better than some stuffy, gymnasium that reeked of decades old sweat.”

“Yeah, well the Central Park Reservoir is one of my least favorite places in the world,” I snapped back at him.

While the running path around the reservoir is only a little more than a mile and a half, a distance which is mere child’s play for me now, back when I was barely older than a child, it seemed like the length of a full marathon.

“Do tell…” The Devil purred as he sipped his Snapple and stared at me intently.

“I was so tiny my Freshman year,” I explained with a sigh.  “Short, stick thin, and just scrawny.  Not an ounce of muscle on me.  My little nerdy body was designed to think, not to run.  Figuring out how to get around that body of water in the middle of the school day was an equation that I simply could not solve.  It was torture.  My lungs were on fire.  My legs ached.  I just wanted to collapse and wait for the paramedics to drag me away.”

Lucifer laughed so hard at my tale of woe, that he had to use a silk handkerchief from his jacket pocket to dab away the tears that were forming in his eyes.

“I wish I could have been there for that,” he struggled to say through the laughter.

“My gym teacher was also my homeroom teacher and the track coach,” I continued.  “So he was relentless.  He thought we should all be able to run the loop as quickly as the track team guys in my class, who whipped around the reservoir before I was even halfway done.  Oh, how I hated him for expecting me to be athletic and fleet of foot.”

humor, short story, The Devil, running, high school gym class, Modern Philosopher“Look at how much has changed,” The Prince of Darkness chided.  “I think you owe your gym teacher an apology, and maybe even a thank you for introducing you to the grueling world of distance running.”

I shrugged and pulled another bottle of Snapple out of the cooler.  He was right, of course, but I hated to admit it.

“Fine,” I groaned.  “I apologize to all the gym teachers I hated for forcing me to run.  They were right, and I was just lazy and weak.”

“Amen!” Satan agreed.  “I’m glad I was able to add a little something to your outstanding Catholic School education.”

If ever there was a time to run, to get as far away from this conversation as possible, it was now.  But I had just run six miles, and there was no way my body could handle it.

Maybe I could have made a run for it, if I had only better applied myself back in high school gym class.  Oh, the irony…

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What Are You Doing This Weekend?

life, weekend, party people, social interaction, humor, Modern PhilosopherEvery so often, Modern Philosophers, I get bored with being a quirky, reclusive, introvert, so I put on my social butterfly costume and mingle with other people.

This generally leads to my being asked the inevitable…

What are you doing this weekend?

Apparently, social people use this question as a test to see if you are really one of them.  Then they use your answer to decide if you’re the sort of person who gets to join their clan and engage in merriment and shenanigans on a regular basis.  A party people pop quiz so to speak.

At least that’s how I think it works.

I’m not sure, though, since I’m a quirky, reclusive, introvert.

Whenever someone asks me how I plan to spend the weekend, my eyes light up with excitement as I quickly share my To Do List for a perfect Saturday and Sunday…

Run, read, write, relax, recover, and recharge.

Maybe I have a thing for alliteration.  Perhaps I’m just a simple guy.

Or, it could just be that I know how to have a kick ass weekend.

I’m going to be honest, after a long, grueling work week catering to the needs of others, I want to get away from people and spend some quiet time doing things that bring me joy.

If looking forward to reading a good book, getting some exercise, and finally spending some time doing the thing I love, aka writing, makes me a weirdo introvert who’s never going to find someone because all I ever do is hide out all by myself, then so be it.

life, weekend, party people, social interaction, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe weekend is my time.

No one’s paying me for those hours, so I get to decide how they are spent.

For the record, I don’t see it as hiding out from the world and purposely sabotaging my quest to find true love.  It is simply much needed me time.

If I’m ever going to be the kind of person who turns on the charm and socializes on a regular basis, then I need my weekends to build myself back up after being besieged and belittled all week.

Life knows how to deliver a beating without leaving any marks that you can report to the authorities.  So you’ve got to take care of yourself and unplug from the chaos whenever you have the opportunity.

Sure, I miss waking up next to someone and knowing that I’m loved, but there’s also something to be said for waking up alone, being able to stretch out across the big bed, and know that no one has any say over how I’m going to spend my day.

By kicking off the day with a run, I get my blood flowing, feel good about how I’ve decided to focus on taking better care of myself, and can use the time on the road to plot out whatever writing I plan to do for the day.

Sometimes, when I am out doing something healthy all by my lonesome, I run into a pretty neighbor, who insists on sending me home with homemade baked goods.  In fact, such a thing happened to me just this afternoon…

life, weekend, party people, social interaction, humor, Modern PhilosopherThank you, Joy, for the yummy cake.  I cannot wait to enjoy it tonight when I’m curled up on the couch watching the movie of my choice.

If you don’t see that as a perfect Saturday night, then maybe you’re the quirky oddball!

So I guess what I’m trying to say here, Modern Philosophers, is that it’s okay to be you.

Don’t let society pressure you into thinking you need to be someone you’re not just so you’ll fit in better with the other bees in the hive.

Party people can be the life of the party.  That’s their right, and I like knowing that they are out there blowing off some steam after a tough week.

life, weekend, party people, social interaction, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m content being the wallflower who doesn’t wander too far from the punch bowl.  After all, I need to keep hydrated for my runs.  Plus, the vantage point allows me to better observe the world around me, so I can better portray it in my stories.

Furthermore, if I keep an eye on what’s going on around me, it lessens the chances of life sneaking up on me to kick me in the ass when I least expect it.

When I’m ready, and with a little help from the Fates, I will finally find that special someone.  When I do, I will work up the courage to ask her…

What are you doing this weekend?

And hopefully, her plans will be to spend some time with me…

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Hell Is Not A Democracy

Donald Trump, politics, humor, The Devil, Modern Philosopher, Barack ObamaI was sitting on the couch, sipping a Snapple, and watching the football game.

I looked to my right, where I could see The Devil reading the Sunday paper on his end of the couch.  As always, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit.

He was being quiet and behaving himself for once, and I should have left well enough alone.

But I just couldn’t help myself for some reason.  “I’m going to ask you a question, and I want you to answer truthfully,” I instructed.

“Why would I lie?” Lucifer asked with a roll of his eyes.  “Oh, right…you went to Catholic School where the Nuns filled your head with the most horrible lies about me.”

I waved off his cynical comment.  “So the truth, right?”

The Prince of Darkness shot me a glare that warned me I was treading on thin ice.

“When you’re not here, do you put on a Donald Trump costume, go to the White House, and slowly drag this country straight down to Hell as you pretend to be the President of the United States?” I asked in all sincerity.

Satan laughed out loud, put down his newspaper, and turned to face me.  “I can see how you might think I was behind the actions of the man currently occupying the Oval Office, but I assure you that Donald Trump is wrestling with demons not at all related to me.”

I sighed and took a long sip of Snapple as I absorbed that revelation.  I guess I was hoping The Devil would confess he was manipulating Trump, and I could save us all by convincing my Sunday guest to go find another puppet.

Donald Trump, politics, humor, The Devil, Modern Philosopher, Barack Obama“If I were going to possess a President, it wouldn’t be a close-minded, racist, misogynist like Trump,” Lucifer explained.  “I’d want Barack Obama.”

“I’d use my position to seduce people into giving up their eternal souls, but Trump followers are the kind of folks who already have reservations in Hell.  I’d take advantage of Obama’s trustworthiness to win over people who would never trust The Prince of Darkness.  If I could become President Obama for just a day, I could do amazing things for Hell’s census figures.”

He stared off in something of a dreamy trance, as a smile steadily grew across his handsome face.

“I just don’t understand how someone who thinks and behaves like Trump and says things like ‘shit hole countries’ gets to occupy the highest office in our country,” I groaned.  “It made sense if it was you in a fat suit and horrible wig, but if that’s really who the man is, and that’s who the Electoral College wants to be President, then I am sad for the state of the country.  And for the world, for that matter, since they are affected by Trump, too.”

“If it’s any consolation, at least he’s not invading countries and trying to take over the world,” Satan pointed out to me.  “World domination is just too much work and would seriously cut into Trump’s TV and cheeseburger time.”

“That’s really no consolation whatsoever,” I sighed.

Donald Trump, politics, humor, The Devil, Modern Philosopher, Barack ObamaThe Devil pulled an ice cold bottle of Snapple out of the cooler, and handed it to me with a charming smile.  “Then have this.  Your potty mouth President might be able to take away your faith in his office and your belief that America can be great again, but he can’t take away your Snapple.”

I smiled.  Sometimes, it was the small victories that got me through trying times.

So I enjoyed my Snapple as I mentally calculated the number of days until the next Presidential Election.  While secretly wishing for an impeachment, of course…

Posted in Humor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

I’m Ready To Give Up On People

philosophy, psychology, human behavior, humor, Modern PhilosopherI have famously been described as a “quirky, reclusive introvert“, and that was by me in my yet to be published autobiography, Modern Philosophers.

The thing is, I used to think my desire to hide out from the world and be left alone was some tragic flaw in my wiring.  A bug that my creators never managed to work out before they put me on the market.

Now, however, I’ve come to the realization that my desire to lock myself in The House on the Hill’s basement bunker is a survival mechanism, rather than a paralyzing accumulation of phobias and anti-social hankerings.

In other words, I was normal until the world made me this way.

I’m well aware that I used to be a miserable person.  I’d be a fool to say I’ve completely shed this persona, but I’ve definitely been on a more positive path lately.

Maybe talking to that therapist after breaking up with The Sweet Irish Girl was a good thing.  Perhaps I’ve finally accepted that you get more with honey than you do by bitching about everything and doing absolutely nothing to change the things that drive you mad.

Whatever it is, my newfound view on life, be it through rose colored glasses, or simply through eyes that are no longer blind from rage and self-pity, has made me aware that the world around me is toxic.

Thank goodness I had the interns buy me a gas mask…

philosophy, psychology, human behavior, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt might seem like I’m rambling, but there really is a point somewhere in all these words.

I’m just having a problem focusing because I want to be purposely vague so as not to set off another firestorm of rage, hate, and confusion that is sure to drive me even deeper into the basement bunker.

This week was such a positive one until it wasn’t.

I finally found something that made me happy, gave me a sense of purpose, and put a little pep in my step when I got out of bed in the morning.

But as any Modern Philosopher worth his toga can tell you, the good exists only in a very delicate balance with the bad.

When life is good, one must always be prepared for the dark clouds to roll in so that balance can be restored.  Whenever there is light, people will be inclined to piss on the flame until the world is plunged into total darkness accompanied by a pungent stench.

philosophy, psychology, human behavior, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhy is it that people don’t like to see others be happy?  Are we threatened when we see someone acting unselfishly to spread kindness?  Is it in our DNA to crush dreams, snuff out hope, and demean until the human spirit it broken?

Is there a secret society whose only mission is to make sure life sucks and then you die?

These are the sort of questions I have the time to contemplate when I’m all alone in my bunker, safe from inevitable attack from a world gone made with pessimism.

Could it be because we’ve been saddled with a President who says only the worst things that come to mind, and secretly wants us all to believe we are from shit hole countries because his happiness depends on the demoralization of others?

All I know for sure right now is I’m ready to give up on people.  I don’t mean to offend any of you, Modern Philosophers, but the only time I can really control the flow of positive vibes, and keep the negativity from crashing the party is by removing myself from the human interaction equation.

Loneliness might ensure sanity.

philosophy, psychology, human behavior, humor, Modern PhilosopherAt the very least, it allows me to pass the day without cringing, rolling my eyes, feeling my stomach lurch, or dreading the fact that I ever crawled out from under the covers.

No man is an island.  Then again, what island ever loses sleep tossing and turning as it recounts the events of the day?

Sometimes I fantasize about playing hide and seek, but never coming out from my perfect hiding spot.  It’s not the basement bunker, so don’t come looking for me there.

I want to make the world a better place, but there are times it feels like there are 7.6 billion people out there fighting to keep me from succeeding in that quest.

So rather than tilt at windmills, I will vent in blog posts and then concentrate on making sure the walls are soundproof and high enough to keep out the threats to my happiness.

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Birthdays Can Be Hell

short story, The Devil, Happy Birthday, humor, Modern Philosopher“Happy Birthday!” The Devil shouted excitedly as he burst into the living room.

As always, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, but he had added a colorful cardboard birthday hat to his ensemble.

In his hands, he held an enormous whoopie pie topped with blazing birthday candles.

“You made me a cake?” I asked as he placed the treat on the table in front of me.

The heat coming off the numerous candles caused me to break into a sweat, but I smiled nevertheless as it was literally a very sweet gesture.

“Devil’s Food Whoopie Pie Cake,” Lucifer informed me proudly.  “Made it myself.  Didn’t just conjure it up with a snap of my fingers.  You should feel special.”

I blew out the candles.  Thank goodness I’d been running so much lately, or I would not have had the lung capacity to extinguish so many flames.

With my right index finger, I dug out some of the cream filling and quickly sampled it.

“This is really good!” I gave my glowing review before looking around for a knife with which to cut the delicious dessert.

The Prince of Darkness snapped his fingers to conjure up a knife, forks, and a couple of plates.  While I set to work on carving out two humongous pieces for us to enjoy, he came around to my side of the table and fished two bottles of Snapple out of the cooler.

short story, The Devil, Happy Birthday, humor, Modern Philosopher“I hope this makes up for the lonely birthday you suffered through yesterday,” Satan remarked as I handed him his plate.

I shrugged and stared down at the enormous hunk of whoopie pie awaiting me.  “I’m used to my birthday sucking.  When you’re an adult, your birthday falls through the cracks unless you have a significant other, who is obligated to pull out all the stops.”

I know that sounded simplistic, but it was true.  Birthdays are child’s play.  Once you’re an adult, people stop celebrating your birth and giving you presents unless they are guilted into doing so by your special someone.  Even then, you have to ply them with lots of booze.

“One more reason for you to find a girlfriend then,” The Devil observed as he washed down some whoopie pie with a gulp of Snapple.

“True, but then I’d be obligated to go all out on her birthday,” I replied.  “Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of spoiling the woman I love, but you try convincing a group of adults to give up their free time to celebrate a child’s holiday.  Anyone I can trick/coerce into attending her party, will then expect me to reciprocate by being at the two birthday parties that couple throws during the year.”

“I didn’t realize birthdays were so stressful,” Lucifer remarked as he polished off the rest of his serving.

I chugged half my Snapple and nodded.

short story, The Devil, Happy Birthday, humor, Modern Philosopher“Birthdays are Hell,” I stated for the record.  “All they really mean is we’re another year closer to the end of our run, and that some new body part with falter, act up, or do something alarming before it’s time to blow out the candles again.”

“I’m glad I’m immortal and don’t have a birthday,” The Prince of Darkness remarked as a devilish grin swept across his handsome, ageless face.  “I’m also thrilled that I don’t gain weight because this whoopie pie is delicious and I’m definitely having more.”

For the record, even though I can and often do gain weight, I had more of the whoopie pie cake as well.

After all, you only live once, and I had another birthday to worry about in 364 days…

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Happy Birthday Time Machine

Happy Birthday, first date, relationship, humor, Modern PhilosopherToday is my birthday, Modern Philosophers, so as per tradition, I have handed over control of the blog to the interns so I can celebrate and stuff my face with cake.

However, those lovable scamps, who seem to do nothing around here other can fiddle around on social media and crank up the heat, managed to turn the tables on me and convince me to write this post.

The current leader of the interns, the one with the pierced nose and questionable shoulder tattoo, asked me to tell her my all time favorite birthday memory.

I tried to resist and be lazy, but she plied me with Snapple and intrigued me by framing it all in the form of a time travel query.

You know I have a soft spot for time travel.

Once I told her the story of my favorite birthday, she convinced me that it would be the perfect birthday blog post.

So here I am, typing this story for internet consumption, while my birthday cake sits tantalizingly out of reach.  But the head intern was right.  This is a fun story to share, and it gives me something to do on a frigid, otherwise uneventful birthday.

If I could time travel back to my favorite birthday, I would set the controls for seven years ago.  That was the year Rachel, aka The Girl Who Moved Away aka The One Who Convinced Me To Start This Blog, took me out to dinner on my special day.

We were coworkers, and I had a huge crush on her.  I’d been hinting that I had no plans for my birthday, so I was delighted when she asked if she could take me to dinner.

Later, I would refer to this as our first date.  She would also claim she was just taking a friend out to celebrate.

We both knew I was right, though.

Dating is really difficult (especially for the Birthday Boy), but Rachel and I had gotten to know each other well simply by working together.  I definitely wanted things to move beyond friendship, but as you might have picked up from reading this blog, I’m not very good with dating, reading members of the opposite sex, or basically knowing what to do in any situation concerning someone who makes my heart beat faster.

Happy Birthday, first date, relationship, humor, Modern PhilosopherSo it was a major relief that Rachel asked me to dinner.  She then made things even easier by insisting on following me home from work so that we could later drive to Texas Roadhouse in her car.  She knew I was uneasy about driving, and she wanted me to feel comfortable and be able to have a drink.

By inviting herself to The House on the Hill for the first time, I didn’t have to worry about how to get to that step in the relationship I really wanted us to have.  I’d been trying and failing at dating for many years since my divorce.  I remembered how awkward it had been the first time a date came to the house.

On this night, though, it was totally different.  Rachel made herself right at home, which is fitting given that The House on the Hill would become like a second home to her over the next few years.  She plopped down on the couch, turned on the TV, and asked for a beer.

Normally, things would be super tense and awkward, but she was already acting like she belonged here.  I would have usually freaked out about someone sitting in my spot on the couch (Hello, Sheldon!), but I didn’t say a thing because she looked so damn adorable.

I got us beers, and came back to find one of the cats already snuggling up with Rachel.  The cats were often an issue with dates.  Some were allergic.  Some hated animals.  Usually, the cats hated strangers and would run off to hide the second they heard a voice they didn’t recognize.  But here was my big time crush petting a purring kitty, who wanted Rachel’s attention just as much as I did.

To say this was the best first date of my life would be an understatement.  After years of just trying to feel comfortable around someone again, I’d quickly realized that Rachel was someone special.  I was so relaxed around her, we could talk about anything, she got my corny sense of humor, and she genuinely cared about me.

Plus, the cats liked here!

Happy Birthday, first date, relationship, humor, Modern PhilosopherMy birthday has always been an odd day for me.  As a kid, I also felt it got overshadowed by its proximity to Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Post-divorce, I felt like I should be spending it with someone special, so it hurt to be single and never have any plans.

This birthday changed my life in such a positive way.  By the end of the night, I knew I was going to fall in love with Rachel.  And for the first time in an eternity, I had the strong sense that the mushy feelings were mutual.

Texas Roadhouse will be forever linked to that special night, and to a beautiful brown eyed girl with an adorable dimple, who gave me the best, unexpected birthday present…

I finally had a special someone in my life again.

I remember that I had taken off the next day, so I didn’t get to see her again right away, but we exchanged long emails over the course of the day.  In one of them, Rachel revealed that she had convinced her Mom to crochet a beret for the stuffed Opus that I kept on my desk.  Well, Rachel had confiscated it, so he was always on her desk.

Soon after, that penguin always wore a handmade beret.  It was still on his head when he accompanied Rachel on her journey to chase her dream.

I miss Rachel very much, and will probably never get over her.  I certainly will never forget that birthday because it was the day that my office crush became the woman who owned my heart.

Best birthday ever.  Without a doubt.

Happy Birthday, first date, relationship, humor, Modern PhilosopherSo if I could ever manage to get my time machine working, the very first stop might very well be January 6, 2011.

The night I fell head over heels for The Girl Who Moved Away.  It was a very happy birthday indeed….

Posted in Humor, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments