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A Copywriter’s Blog

The Wife and I were at a wedding most of the weekend, and spent about 6 hours today constructing furniture. So, in lieu of a post, I leave you with a reading of the second stanza of the IKEA instruction guide, in the form of a Zen Koan:

ikea_instructions
“Don’t be one person, be two people.” -The Wife

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Presented without comment. Except for that one.

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Fair is Fair Ben Levy 22, May

In my day, Saturday morning television was about Martial Terapins and Extinct Reptiles from Outer Space. Now it’s full of shows like this.

On this show gentlemen- clothed in camouflage and covered in scent-masking soap- talk a lot of shit. They lovingly discuss their custom-balanced rifles, with the magnifying scope and laser site. The ones loaded with armor-piercing bullets.

They hunt turkeys.

I have it on good authority that turkeys are the under-educated, car-jacking, straight-up thugs of the avian kingdom. But they are also fat birds. You cannot, cannot, sit there with military-grade armaments and act like the world’s greatest badass. You should not need the accumulated technological advances of an entire civilization to take down an overweight, barely flightworthy bird. And even if you do, you should not brag about it.

Around this time last year, I was working on an account for a shoe based on barefoot running. In the process, I read a lot of running theories.

One of them was along the following lines: Humans weren’t capable of actually running down their food. But we had endurance. So what would happen is, we would startle a deer. It would take off. We would jog after it. The deer would eventually tire out, and pause to catch its breathe. Before it was completely recovered, we would catch up, causing it to bolt again. This cycle would repeat, but the deer was able to run less and less each time. Eventually, its heart would burst. Back in the day, this was referred to as “lunch time”.

During that project I was on a shoot with a pair of runners. One was a former olympic miler. I casually mentioned this theory to him.

“Oh yeah,” he said “that works.”

“Really?” I replied with surprise “I wasn’t aware they’d actually tested it.”

“Oh, I don’t know if they did it officially or anything. But my friends and I did it once.”

“What?”

“We ran down a deer. It only took two and a half hours, actually. Had a heart attack.”

“…”

Now that. That you can brag about.

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For me, this is not about politics. It’s about Jon Stewart being awesome.

If this amuses you, watch the second video where he gets O’Rielly to say “I think I’m gonna commit suicide” right before it cuts to commercial.

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Not a paid actor Ben Levy 16, May

For those that don’t watch 60-minute infomercials at 3am, P90X is a cross-training routine available on 12 DVDs. If you call now. And according to all the people desperately trying to convince you they’re not actors and models, you too can get this ripped and lose 47 dress sizes if only you follow this program. Which is hilarious.

Except it actually works. No, really. I’m all sexy* and shit now. I no longer scare babies just by walking down the street. It’s incredible.

*All claims of sexiness should be understood to be the opinion of the author and not intended to be taken as fact. Readers are urged to remember that sexiness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore cannot be stated with any confidence. Plus, have you seen the author? Sexy? Ha.

You can find a ton of information about P90X on the internets. Information on exercise technique, diet, and how best to take shitty pictures of yourself in your bathroom mirror so you can show everyone how ripped you’re getting. I’m not going to cover any of that here. I just thought I’d tell you what you can reasonably expect from the program, based solely on what happened to me.

Week One:
After doing plyometrics (jump training) for the first time, your legs become jelly. You spend the rest of the week dropping into chairs like an octogenarian. This is particularly upsetting on the toilet.

Week Two:
After an entire week, you’re still unable to get through the fifteen-minute ab routine without pausing at least five times. During these breaks you will claim the salty moisture running down your face is sweat. This may or may not be true.

Week Three:
You catch a coworker staring at you funny. She awkwardly tells you your arms look nice. Everything is worth it.

Week Four:
By the end of the first month, you will be able to perform the majority of the exercises without looking like a complete wuss. You will believe the worst is behind you. You will be wrong.

Week Five:
You see a new exercise that makes you pause the video and exclaim “WHAT?” It is this one:

Week Six:
You can actually do those now.

Week Seven:
You’ve lost so much weight that your wedding ring no longer fits, and you have to wear it on your middle finger. This makes people worried you’re either becoming anorexic or getting divorced. A lot of time is spent assuring them neither is true.

Week Eight:
You manage to do four 1-handed push ups.

Week Nine:
You finally manage to stop talking about those four stupid 1-handed push-ups.

Week Ten:
In the midst of explaining about P90X to someone, they ask to see your abs. Your confidence level is such that you actually lift up your shirt in public. They describe you stomach as “magnificent”. Pretty much every part of this encounter is disturbing to think back on.

Week Eleven:
You do over 100 pull-ups in a single work out session. You will basically never shut-up about this.

Week Twelve:
You’re in the best shape of your life. You weigh less than you did in high school, and your metabolism is near Kenyan-runner levels. You’re also well on your way to becoming an insufferable ass to all your friends, who don’t want to hear about how you “broke your personal best” again, or how “crazy” it was when you did those hundred pull-ups that morning. Seriously, when will you shut-up about this?

Finally, you’ll write the most egotistical, narcissistic post in the history of your blog, hoping that if you make it sort of funny, people won’t notice how you just spent 500 words bragging about yourself. You will fail.

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I suspect this shocks the hell out of all of you, but I’m actually cautiously optimistic about the fourth Pirates movie. This is in spite of the fact that the second and third were abominations wrought upon the fine art of cinema. But I should save that rant for a Monday.

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Blah Blah Zzz Ben Levy 8, May

I once read about a study where the people participating were asked to wake up when the sun rose and go to sleep when the sun set. The idea was to mimic how early man must have lived.

I vaguely recall that the study found this sort of lifestyle healthier. This should be great news, because the new apartment has huge east-facing windows and I am biologically incapable of sleeping once the sun hits my eyes. At 5:00 am.

But it’s not great news, because I am not in a natural sleep cycle study. Which means I stay up with my artificial civilized illumination until midnight or later, then get forced awake a mere four hours afterwards when our damnable planet rotates too far.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I am sleep-deprived, exhausted, and going to bed. A more entertaining post shall occur once I procure some more of these in the appropriate length to cover the bedroom window.

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Friday Feature: Dislike Ben Levy 6, May

A PSA for the internet, by the internet, of the internet:


*Shitty hollywood movies excluded.

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As I’ve mentioned before, The Wife and I have been known to approach situations differently.

For example, when I moved into a room in college, I set up the bed and the internet. Everything else was optional, and was unpacked as it was needed. This meant that when the time came to move back home for the summer, there was usually a box or two loaded into the car that had never been unpacked.

The first time The Wife and I moved into a place together, I followed standard procedure. Assembled the bedframe, set up my computer in a tangle of cords and egg-crates, and proceeded to surf the web.

At this point, the reader is free to imagine The Wife standing there, clearing her throat meaningfully and tapping one foot, arms folded.

Three days later the entire place was unpacked, organized, and decorated. A mere 72 hours after getting the keys the only thing left to do was find complementary dishtowels.

I tell you all this to explain what happened our second day in the new apartment. We moved before our furniture did, so we’re currently sleeping on an air mattress, and I got the cable hooked up so that I can post this while sitting on the floor.

The Wife is working nights these days. This means she works a 12-14 hour shift, followed by an hour or more commute home, where she attempts to sleep for 8 hours before getting up, eating something, and driving another hour or more to start the next 12-14 hour shift.

You’ll not nowhere in there is there time for, well, anything. Work, drive, sleep, drive work. Repeat.

Which means there’s only one possible explanation for how, when I came home Monday night, twelve hours after we’d moved into the new apartment, the entire bathroom, fridge, and pantry were organized.

The Wife can bend space-time.

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