Monday, September 28, 2009


We all have a physicality to which we've aspired, yet never actually mustered up the confidence or ambition to obtain. For some this may be a handlebar mustache, for others, a defined abdomen. Personally, I've long since accepted the sparseness of my facial follicles and abandoned any hope of achieving the former. As for the latter, a seemingly etched core has been a goal I've carried over for years.

I was just 16, a sophomore in high school, when this desire first rippled its way onto my aesthetic wish list, undulating over the impeccable contours of Australian model Travis Fimmel's body.

"Plan A," I dubbed this luminous shot, torn free with as exacto-like precision as one's fingers can provide. Publicly pleased to have found motivation for improving my own physique, privately ecstatic for a reason to keep this hunk within eye's reach. And it wasn't just his solid figure I longed to see looking back at me in the mirror, from atop my covers, but that illustrious mane, too.

Oh - Those - Tresses.

GAWD, to be in possession of such effortless and simultaneously mind numbing beauty. I was in awe. I couldn't believe the human body could look like this. A 21st century David. A living, breathing, mass-marketable embodiment. Who could resist such, such, perfection?

No one. No one could resist. Certainly no woman. Maybe even no man. They couldn't. "They couldn't, they couldn't, they couldn't," I intoned silently, attempting to garner support for this wishful theory, reinforcements to my already impenetrable denial.

Seven years later and I forget there was ever a time I wasn't forthright with every thing I planned to do were I given the chance to get Travis Fimmel off of the page and out of those underwear. Not only that, but now I've all but achieved the fitness goals of my youth. Far from CK Body ad-ready, of course; but my stomach has gone from convex to downright taut. Taut. Me. I can live with taut. Maintain it, even.

"BLEH," My roommate is likely rolling her eyes. "We get it. You've never felt sexier. Please, tell us again. And again. And. Again."

Alright, okay, so I might need the occasional vanity check, the administration of which my roommate is happy to provide; but it is more the feeling that comes with this new figure rather than my lusty frame itself that I am most enthused to extol. Confidence. That's what we all need more than firm muscle structure and flawless features.

I'll never quite achieve "Plan A." Most of us won't. A bod like that takes sacrifices unworthy of even the heftiest modeling salary. Far too many hours in the gym, far too few out in the world, at the dinner table. Let us acknowledge, let us relish the fantasy that Travis Fimmel and his professionally sexy ilk provide; but it should be we the people, the average, everyday individual who determines their own barometer of beauty.

Balance, of course, is key. What might work to accentuate the most attractive, natural attributes of some could appear near-garish on others. Take this juxtaposition, for example.

Sure, "Weird Al" Yankovic can rock this shock of hair. Odd is his intention. It's in his name. Myself, however -

I really would be a "maniac, a maniac on [and off] the floor" were I not too heed such an explicit warning. Three, short degrees of separation notwithstanding.

Yeah. Luxuriating lust for long locks slashed. PERM - anently.

Ah, well, just more reason to appreciate my current hairstyle. And an actual style it is. Gone is my historically unruly mop, here to stay is the cut I didn't even know I'd been dreaming of. Finally, the aesthetic stars have aligned and not in the formation of a Joan Jett-like mullet.

A journey though it has been, an epic your own need not be. A regular dash of cardio, a pinch of resistance training, and a whole barrel of introspection and self-validation and BOOM - Look at you now.

Whatever your ideal shape or the state of your face, whether or not science proves true and I lose every last strand of auburn awe like my mother's father before me, however fleeting these fragile organs of ours may be, a well cultivated, self-assured spirit is not easily eroded. Barring dementia and freak vehicle accidents and deranged, scorned, lead pipe-wielding lovers, of course. But if we let those fears threaten to derail us we might as well just plunk down and do away with that Funfetti cake for two we've been picking at all week.

"We" NOT being my roommate and I. No, no; never. Again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An epic battle.

Of the many phrases uttered by parents around the world, I imagine "DON'TTOUCHTHAT!" most certainly transcends all race, creed, and/or sexual orientation.

This warning reverberated through my head on my way to work the other day, clanging loudly against my senses as I came to an abrupt stop in front of this molted feather.

"DON'TTOUCHTHAT!" My imagination's representation of my ma' screeched, hurling herself out my ear and onto my shoulder.

"GRAB IT!" My subconscious countered, his demands echoing around my cerebellum, threatening to dislodge figment Momma from her perch. "RUB IT ON YOUR FACE!" My Id continued to shriek.

*Poof!* There went mah momma. But despite her absence, fearful visions of the Avian Flu sunk their talons into every lobe of my brain. As did the final scene in "The Birds." And the (JJ) fact that sparrows have been known to peck humans to death.

"Good Gawd, man. Pick it UP, already," my inner monologue was getting impatient. I had (personal) emails to reply to, iced coffee to drink before the last cube had dissolved. I didn't have time to stand here and debate picking up this potentially disease ridden feather. What the heck was I going to do with it after I finished caressing my pores? Throw it away as my face flushed with an embarrassed blush or an uncomfortable rash, most likely; yet, of which outcome I could not be sure.

That uncertainty was enough for me. "WOO! Shake it off." My Ego was back in control. Nurture had taken the lead.

"SUCK IT!" My miniaturized, maternal mirage spat back at nature, resting her chin against her palms in a rather jaunty fashion. "Heh, we showed him." She snuffed.

Parents sure are smug when presented with proof positive that some of their programming, I mean values, VALUES, have stuck. Yes, rest assured while the nurturing matriarch of the Wienkers family may not have the resilient molting ability of the Avian species or the cyclical immortality of the phoenix, twigs and berries of her wisdom shall live on in the lobes of her spawns' spawn and their spawns' spawn and so on and so on. Sorry nature.

That means you too, tooth decay. No stranger to flossing here.