Chubby Love

Hi there

Hi there

Last week I read an article which stated that chubby men typically last longer and have fewer issues with premature ejaculation than slimmer men. Now, this is just one reason to date chubby men, but there are many, many more.

And not just chubby men, but chubby women, too.

It’s time to get the word out about chubby love. And it’s about time Mr. Slim and Mrs. Trim get knocked off their sexy pedestals simply because they metabolize faster or have better genes. Oh sure, they look better on the beach and they breathe more quietly, but let’s look at the reasons you should be dating chubby people.

In the first place, slim people barely eat. Further, they obsess about how much they’re eating and make annoying comments like: “You probably shouldn’t put butter in that.”

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A List of Lists

list lsit listOK, Internet. You give me lots to cherish – cats, stoned koala bears, and pictures of Jennifer Lawrence. You cooperate with Saturday night’s ‘Where are they now?’ searches. You bring me movies, books, and music.

Like many of your users, I love me a good list. Life hacks and aging celebrities enrich my lunch break like cookies. But it’s gotten a little ridiculous. I understand that you need to suit our ever shortening attention spans, but don’t you think you’ve run out of lists?

I don’t like arguing with you, Internet, but here’s a list of lists that are getting on my nerves. If you could cut down, I promise to watch a cat ride a koala. Or whatever you come up with next.

10 ways…

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Title Fight

TitlesSitting in a meeting in a Czech university when you don’t have a PhD feels like the academic equivalent of being welcomed to the adult’s table. We get introduced to all of our colleagues with PhDs as though we are meeting them for the first time. In reality, we have bought them shots at a bar, consoled them after bad breakups, and stolen olives for them at the departmental Christmas party.

Still, the tone of the introductions is such that we meager ones should stand in awe of these people, for they have a title that we do not. A PhD. And, as I sit there, mentally cradling my Masters Degree, I wonder where this obsession started.

The Czechs love their titles, so this is far from an isolated case of title entitlement. When a PhD is introduced to students at a conference or a symposium, sometimes the non-PhD holder on the dais will be forgotten altogether. It’s not just the PhDs, either. Nearly every title a Czech person enjoys surrounds his name like a barricade of academic sandbags. They are on business cards, front doors, and mailboxes. On all of my documents, pay, and student assessment sheets, I am Damien Galeone Mgr BA. I am introduced as Magister Galeone. Sometimes, it can be rather bulky.

Doktor Profesor Milan Novak Phd PhDr DPD MD Mgr Ing BS STUD

My doctor’s nurses refer to him as Pane Doktor – Mr. Doctor.

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My Advice to Jennifer Lawrence

Russian dating siteDear Jennifer

Big fan. Well, to be fair, I’ve only seen Silver Linings Playbook, but still, you were great. And I love that Bradley Cooper. He’s Jewish, isn’t he? Wikipedia says he’s Irish and Italian, but he’s got those Semitic good looks and he grew up in Jenkintown. My mom had a cheese shop there. Great tuna melts. Anyway, I digress.

OK, so a couple of pictures of your boobs ended up on the internet. It’s an enormous invasion of privacy,  embarrassing, and a total betrayal of trust, but really, it’s not such a big deal. Boobs are boobs. Everyone has seen boobs, and almost half of the world has imagined yours, so just try not to be so upset. These things happen. Hell, at least you’re not Jude Law. Shrinkage is real.

It’s time like these that I thank a pretend deity that I’m not famous, cause that’s really the X factor isn’t it? I mean, of course there’s the fact that you are gorgeous and I’m a chubby middle-aged white dude. But like most people, I’m a Nobody and therefore nobody else cares to snap pictures of us frolicking around with the cat in our underwear to a good Zeppelin tune. For example.

I’m so insignificant that I don’t appear in a video singing Happy, nor one of me getting ice water dumped on my head. Oh, I have one book out there, and the 89 people who bought it might be cheesed off that I’m dancing around in my undies rather than working on my narrative style, but otherwise, nobody would really care.

Still, despite your fame, you’re no different from the rest of us and once in a while that enzyme that separates rational thought from horny idiocy gets blurred. Everyone has done something dumb in that moment of extreme arousal: sent a picture, had a picture taken, written a sext message that made them physically cringe…after. For example.

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Getting Stuff Done

deskFor the last week I’ve been avoiding my office as though it inhabits walkers. This is because my desk looks like Chernobyl shortly after their “unplanned radiation experiment.” A few days ago, I peeked in and appraised the disaster area. Clothes. Papers. Books. Pens. Wires. Coffee mugs. You name it, it was cluttering my desk. So, like anyone else, I ran back into the living room, downloaded an episode of Morse and made a frozen pizza.

But then, finally, when I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer, I rolled up my sleeves and Googled: How to organize your desk.

As a composition teacher, I spend a lot of time helping students manage time, outline, or organize their work. But this post is about getting things done, not preparing. So as I sit here writing this post, instead of organizing my desk, I don’t feel like a composition teacher. In fact, my advice is going to come off as counterintuitive to almost anything I teach.

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Bert and Ernie and the 3 Day Novel Contest

My two advisers

My two advisers

I wasn’t completely surprised when my sister asked, “Do you want to go parasailing?” I was surprised when I answered, “Yes.”

But then again, Ernie made the decision.

There are two advisers living in my head. We’ll call them Bert and Ernie, mainly because naming voices in my head after lovable Muppets makes me sound a little more quirky and a little less schizophrenic.

Bert is the safe guy. Bert wants to be home every night by 5 p.m. Bert loves reading on the couch, enjoys eating a couple of cookies and heads to bed by eleven. Bert suggests healthy cuisine, taking vitamins, and being early. Bert is boring. Bert’s favorite word is “No.”

Ernie is the wild, spontaneous guy. Ernie is the go getter. Ernie is the one who pipes up occasionally and says, “Let’s go out drinking until 4 a.m.” or “Let’s see if that bar really is a brothel.” Or, “Fuck it. Let’s do this thing.”

Ernie’s favorite word is “Yes.”

I listen to Bert far more often. I am 39 years old, after all. I like vitamins, eating healthy (lettuce is just green cookie dough), and I like my quiet nights, reading on the couch. Moreover, a wild night of drinking means a three-day hangover and doing home liver biopsies.

But every once in a while, Ernie takes over. He just blurts out a “yes” and then Bert and I have no choice but to follow along. And thank (enter preferred deity here) that Ernie does this, because if he didn’t, my life would enjoy no fun or spontaneity. So Ernie said yes to parasailing and I had to go.

We were brought out into the Atlantic Ocean with seven others who’d listened to their Ernies. Then, a 20-year-old wearing a ZBT Jungle Party T-shirt harnessed us in pairs to a parachute attached to the back of the boat. Then the driver gunned it and we popped into the air while desperately trying to keep on a calm face because there’s nothing worse than being the urine-soaked coward in a stranger’s story. And then the boat drove around and we sailed behind it, 450 feet in the air, above the ocean.

The problem with Ernie is that he usually doesn’t think things through before saying “yes.” Therefore, there’s a moment of clarity when the reality of a situation is upon me. It’s the moment I realize exactly what Ernie has sold my ass into. It comes at 3 a.m. on the drinking Tuesday. It comes at the moment a harness is being slipped over my head. Or as heartburn settles into my chest.

And it comes now.

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40D and the Biblical Apocalypse

Noah‘Here you are sir, you are in seat 31F.’

‘Ah, 31F, can I ask where that is exactly?’

‘Middle seat.’ She attempts a smile, but looks like she’s trying not to poop.


I don’t know about you, but being told you are in the middle seat on an airplane is sort of like being told you have armpit fungus. You know it’s not the end of the world, but you have a lot of discomfort ahead of you. That discomfort largely exists inside your head.

My brain is particularly ingenious at creating this discomfort and conjuring dreadful images. Eight hours of being flanked by fat men, so that we look like the Three Stooges in our seat. Eight hours of a woman and her two kids. Eight hours of armrest hogging Sumo wrestlers. Eight hours of asking people if I can get up to pee. Eight hours of hell.

So when the woman checking me in winks at me and says, ‘I can give you an aisle, do you mind sitting in the back?’ I respond with, ‘No! That’s great!’

I am seat 40D.

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Technical Support

Tech supportI was watching the Facebook on the desktop in my parents’ house. When nature called I grabbed my tablet to bring along because, you know, I can’t miss a minute of the Facebook. Someone might like a video with a cat fighting linoleum or a person pouring ice water over their heads.

And I didn’t want to miss it.

I came back, sat down and looked right into almost the exact same screen with the exact same information as had just been on the tablet. And then I reached out and tried to scroll the desktop screen with my thumb. It didn’t work and I tried again. Only after a moment did I realize I couldn’t do it.

Embarrassment was afoot, nothing new, but I was a little concerned. For this was not a singular occurrence in my life as of recent. It’s occurred to me that I am forgetting how things work without technological privileges. My brain and muscles are forgetting how to do things on their own.

This is most obvious with the introduction of a tablet to my life. Since the tablet finishes words for me as I type, I am forgetting how to spell. But that’s not all. It finishes my words, so I am getting used to typing two letters of a word and then waiting for the rest to be presented on a linguistic platter. This is the same with phrases, so this morning while writing on the desktop, I typed:

in or

and then waited in a huff for the computer to finish my phrase with der to

And did it work? No su

Oops, I mean, no such luck.

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Death of a Funny Man

robin-williams-deadOnce, when I was thirteen years old, I snuck downstairs to watch a softcore Cinemax flick. They had recently gained my attention and drew me downstairs most nights, and I would sit and ogle boobs and imagine all the things I could do to get them near me once I got to college. This night, however, I stumbled upon Robin Williams: A Night at the Met.

I didn’t know anything about cocaine, marijuana or alcohol. President Reagan was some distant guy who spoke like he was constipated and talked to us about the Challenger disaster. Dr. Roof made a little sense to me as I had begun listening to her radio show in search of sexual tidbits. All I knew was that this random manic guy in a Hawaiian shirt had stymied my obsessive search for boobs. And I could not stop laughing.

Thus began my fascination with comedy.

Like most people, I was stunned and upset to hear of his death. More horrified still as the details became known. And then, like many people, I remembered my admiration for the man and felt sadness at his early departure from Earth. And right after that I thought: Shit, I’ll never meet him for a Frappuccino.

I have developed a series of highly unlikely and disturbingly detailed fantasies about meeting famous people. To be clear, there is never sex involved and they will never happen outside of an astronomically improbable airport meeting or a kidnapping. But there are beers with George Clooney, badminton games with Christopher Moore, and a midnight ghost story session with Cormac McCarthy. There is also a drinking session with Tina Fey and an inexplicable rafting trip with Anna Kendrick.

And there is a Frappuccino with Robin Williams. Well, there was.

If you think I’m being flippant or silly, I am not. I am terribly upset by his death and by the fact that he killed himself. I guess I’m just being a little selfish.

But then, so are a lot of people.

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I Ain’t Him, I’m His Brother

NICE 1It happens every time I walk into a shop, a bar, or just down the street. It happens whenever I see another person in my hometown. They look at me in that way you do when you recognize someone who you owe money.

“Hey, how’s it going?”


“You been busy?”

And then I know it for sure, it’s not me they’re talking to, it’s my brother. Now, my brother’s not a bad-looking guy and there are certainly similarities. We both have a habit of stripping off our pants in public, often together. We have a raspy voice, love Miller High Life, do not suffer fools, and have a relationship with the spoken curse that borders on narcotic dependency. Moreover, we have dark hair, dark eyes, and a Cro-Magnon brow inhabited by bushy eyebrows.

But, and I cannot stress this enough, I am not him. In Langhorne, Pennsylvania, I do something I never have to do anywhere else: assert my individuality! I suppose all of us want to be physically individual. Do you like being told that you remind someone of someone else? If you do this to someone in bed they are legally allowed to pee on your toilet seat.

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