SACRAMENTO, CA

Have you been feeling like there’s no hope in finding a thinner you?

Are you tired of eating rabbit food in an effort to feel better about yourself?

Do you work out daily, but find that your pants are still fitting tight?

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If you answered yes to any of these questions, and even if you didn’t, I have the answer for you.

Sure, there are thousands of diet schemes out there promising you results, but this one is a sure-fire solution for all people, regardless of their shape or size.

In just one day, with little effort, no dieting and no exercise on your part, you can look and feel better!

Don’t believe me? Well, just look at the pictures below. Both were taken of me today!


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That’s right I went from feeling like I’d never lose these extra twenty pounds to feeling like it doesn’t matter because I look good anyway.

No longer do I look in my closet and cry because none of my clothes fit me. The days of feeling fat and hopeless are over and all it took was one simple step.

And I’m going to share that secret with you today folks.

Are you ready for it?

Do you think you can handle it?

I think you can. And I think you’ll thank me.

So, without further ado, here it is:

WEAR CLOTHES THAT FIT YOU!

It’s as simple as that folks. If you look at these two pictures again, you’ll see that I’m wearing two different pairs of pants. One pair is a size 6, and is about four years old. The other pair is a size 10 and are brand spankin’ new!

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No, I’m not holding in my gut. There are no camera tricks at work here. What I’ve done is as easy for everyone as it was for me. Just go down to your local shopping mall and buy a couple of t-shirts and jeans in a slightly larger size and I guarantee you’ll see results. And you’ll feel better when you look in the mirror!

So get out there and buy some clothes that fit today. Say “Goodbye” to your muffin top and “Hello” to the new gorgeous you!

Rebecca Adler is a freelance journalist and photographer, living in Sacramento, Calif. After tiring of feeling overweight and ugly she thought about exercising and eating right. Instead, she finally broke down and bought new jeans, forever shirking her size 4 for a more suitable size 10, and she feels fab! She can be reached on myspace or on the comment board.

What happens when solitude is akin to home?

When the stitch of urban pavement, the zipper of metal automobiles is what needs conquering where my personal demons are concerned?

This morning, when I climbed into my car and tried to start the engine, nothing happened. Why? Because I didn’t have the keyfob in my pocket.

With this car it’s possible to make odd mistakes with the keyfob because there is no key attached to it…the little egg-shaped fob uses RF signals to talk to the car, and if the keyfob isn’t physically inside the car, the ignition won’t work. Conceivably one could start the car, go back into the house and change pants, and come back outside to the already-running car and drive away. But guess what? After you turn off the ignition, it won’t start again, because you left the keyfob in the other pair of pants.

The keyfob is also smart enough to know when it’s inside the trunk…and if you accidentally leave the thing in your golf bag, the car is smart enough to pop the trunk lid open to notify you of your absent-minded mistake.

The reason I mention this is because I was thinking on the way to work how it would be nice if I could implant the keyfob technology into my body. I could implant a tiny RF transmitter/receiver in my hand, say, and then I would never need the keyfob at all. And as soon as this occurred to me, I imagined the resistance that people might have to the idea.

Because people are quite romantically attached to their bodies and the idea of being human.

We love using the Internet and DVD players and playing XBox, we love all sorts of technology, but not many of us like the idea of being a cyborg. Darth Vader was the ultimate bad guy during my youth, and only when he was unmasked and uttered the line “Let me look on you with my own eyes,” was he finally forgiven for his evil ways. At the end of Terminator 2, Schwarzenegger’s character says “I know now why you cry, but it is something I can never do.” Only by melting himself, and the chip that is his brain, can humanity be saved (at least for the time being).

It seems we get nervous about the ramifications of blending man with machine. “Will I still be myself?” “Will someone be able to track my every move?” “Will I still have my soul?”

What gets lost in questions of this kind is that nature itself is, at its most basic level, a machine. Everything you see, everything you eat and touch, everything you think you destroy or create, it’s all just component materials organized a certain way. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are the three elements that comprise glucose, fat, and ethanol. Three very different substances, same component materials. The only difference is the way the original elements are put together.

In fact, when you get down to the basic building blocks of matter and energy, at the quantum level, there are only a few types of components. And yet, combining these simple particles with a few patterns creates all the phenomena in the universe…including us.

“Wait,” you say. “I may someday return to dust, but at the moment these cells are all mine! Right?” Actually, no. The cells that comprise your body turn themselves over at different rates, but over the course of several years your body becomes completely new cells. (The exception here are neurons in the brain, though even those are altered when atoms within the neurons are recycled.)

How can YOU be YOU if all the material in your body was, a few years ago, contained in plants and animals and air scattered across the Earth?

The answer is: information. Instructions in your DNA tell your body what to do with the fuel you take in. Think about it: You eat a steak (or peanut butter, or some kind of protein) and a little later it becomes muscle fibers in your bicep. Or, you eat a steak, and another steak, and you never exercise, and instead the calories turn into fat. Your body is simply an organic machine, albeit a very, very complex one

So…if someone devised a chip that you could implant in your brain, and it would increase your mind’s processing speed and memory accuracy, would you want one?

What if, using nanotechnology, we could repair cellular damage and clean out arteries, would you want that?

Nanobots are very small machines…which sounds scary until you realize that they are not much different than regular molecules. They just have a few instructions that tell them what to do. Whereas a typical molecule is sort of “dumb,” a nanobot would be a molecule with a purpose. We already genetically engineer bacteria to do things for us (like help us make cheese).

I know it doesn’t seem very romantic to use technology to enhance or alter our bodies. But think about all the ways you intentionally alter your chemical makeup. How many of us use wine to enhance a romantic evening? How many people smoke to calm their nerves? How many of us use pharmaceutical drugs to get over an illness? Or even “natural” medicine? All those things alter your body’s chemistry.

Why would a chip be any different?

Finally, there is the issue of immortality. Would you guess that, in a way, all of us are immortal? Sure, your body eventually dies, but the DNA instructions used to create your body…those will live on if you have children. Bodies age and die primarily because replication errors cause DNA information to be lost. There may be ways in the near future to slow or halt the process that results in these errors.

If you could, would you want to live for two or three hundred years?

Of course, the longer you live the more likely it is that you will be involved in a fatal accident. What if you could use a chip to periodically upload the information in your brain to a computer? A sort of backup process?

When you think about it, the core of who we are is the information stored in our brain. All of our hopes and fears and loves and successes and failures are basically just information encoded in neurons. If you could back that up somewhere for download later, would you do it?

Would you want to “live” in a computer that was connected to the Internet?

How different would your MySpace (or Facebook, etc.) relationships be? All the friends you have online that you never see in person…would that be different? Hopefully no one prefers MySpace to real life, but would a computer existence be preferable to death?

I used to be frightened of death. The idea of “me” ceasing to exist, that the world would go on without me, that I would miss out on great discoveries (such as life on other planets), really bothered me. But in the past few years I’ve wondered if maybe eternal life would be boring.

Obviously we’re romantically attached to our bodies and the idea of being human because that’s how our DNA has programmed us to feel. We reject too much progress because it seems artificial…but what does “artificial” really mean? How do you define such a concept?

There will come a time in the not-so-distant future when we will be able to outsmart DNA. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Do you welcome that idea? Or do you find it revolting?

The year was 2000, I was reading Sarah Vowell’s essay collection “Take the Cannoli,” and the coincidences were flooring me.

Sarah Vowell had grown up in Bozeman, Montana, in a house full of guns with a father who was a member of the National Rifle Association (“Shooting Dad”).

I like all these bands. The Broadways are from Chicago. The two guitarists are now in The Honor System and The Lawrence Arms. The bassist is now in The Lawrence Arms and The Falcon. I think they were something like 19 or 20 years old in these videos. I think these videos of them are from 1998.

I like Mirah. One time I was listening to Mirah in the car with my mom and my mom said, “What is that noise?” It was Mirah’s fingers moving around on the guitar. My mom said it sounded like she recorded it in her room and I said she probably did. My mom laughed.

I like Defiance, Ohio. I was in my friend’s car and she put them on. I had not heard of them before. The first song she played was “Petty Problems.” I said, “That guy is screaming.” One guy was doing a raspy voice for harmony or for doubling the melody. I like when bands do that. No-Cash does that. Leftover Crack does that. Or maybe not (not doubling or for harmony) but they do do the raspy voice. The Arrogant Sons of Bitches do it for doubling the melody. Good Riddance does also on their CD Ballads from the Revolution.

Seriously.

This thing–actually, a very similar jighead which differed from this one only in coloration–hit me squarely in the right eyeball on Tuesday afternoon. At high velocity. And by high velocity I don’t mean I popped it out of a tree and it drifted down in a slow, lazy arc and bounced harmlessly off my eyelid. Nor do I mean that a largemouth leapt from the water and spit the jighead in a slow, lazy arc which terminated at my eye, and I went “Ow” and rubbed at the sore spot and everyone had a good laugh at my expense.

I mean: High. Velocity. As in, the jighead was being cast when my eyeball interrupted its flight. There was no arc, lazy or otherwise. And I can’t give a MPH figure, but I will suggest an experiment you could do at home to appoximate the sensation I experienced at the moment of impact. Because we can all use a little more empathy, right?

So give this a shot: Stand with your back against any available wall. Tape your eyelid securely open, with packing tape or the like. Next, have a friend whip a penny at your exposed eyeball from two feet away, hard as he can. And you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about.

At first I was pretty convinced I was going to have to be fitted for a glass eye. Okay, that’s not true. That thought came second. The first thought was something like this: “AAAAAAAAGGGGGRRRRRMOTHERFUCKWHATTHEFUCKWASTHATOHFUCKIVEGOTAFUCKINGHOOKINMYEYESHIT!”

But I did not, in fact, have a hook in my eye. I had nothing in my eye. Near as the optometrist could tell, in what turned out to be an unreasonably painful stroke of good luck the jighead itself had impacted my eyeball, then bounced out before the hook became part of the proceedings. And thank whatever god exists, because otherwise, best case scenario, instead of writing this I’m sitting on my sofa with half my head wrapped in gauze, having just had my retina surgically reattached.

But it wasn’t an immediate sense of relief, there, in the moment. Because even though the pain subsided and the boat hadn’t capsized and I managed to retrieve my rod from the water where I’d dropped it, there was still one small problem: I couldn’t see a fucking thing out of my right eye.

Again, an experiment you can try at home to get a feel for where I was at: take a normal, transparent drinking glass. Fill it with skim milk. Hold it up to your eye and try to see through it.

“Do you want to go back?” one of my companions asked.

No, I didn’t. I’d been looking forward to this for a while, and the fishing had been bad so far and I wanted to give it a chance to get better. But there was the whole problem with not being able to see. And it was getting worse. The skim had quickly thickened to 2%, and I was having a hard time keeping my balance in the bow.

The water is warmer by this time of year, but not warm enough.

So I said okay, let’s go back.

Because I’ll be honest with you, by now I was a little freaked out. I don’t like doctors, and I like giving them money even less, but the idea of just waiting it out in the woods until my eye swelled to the point where I looked like this

Quasimodo

didn’t really appeal. Plus of course I had no idea if this blindness thing was time-sensitive, if by waiting for it to correct itself I would be wasting time the doctors needed to fix things. Seemed unlikely, but this was one of only two eyes I’ve been alotted, remember. Plus I’ve done that in the past–let something go for a day or two or five, hoping it would just sort of magically fix itself, and when I finally showed up at the ER the doctors always just looked at me like, “What the fuck do you expect me to do now?”

So we brought the boat in and packed everything up and headed back to civilization. Civilization, in this case, being defined as a place where optometrists outnumber deer. And by the time we’d made an emergency appointment and got to the doctor’s office the sight in my right eye had mostly come back, and I was starting to feel like a pussy. The thing didn’t even look all that bad, except for a small dent at the point of impact. My only saving grace was when the exam revealed definite vision loss on the right. Nothing dramatic, but it was there. Other than that, though, everything was fine. Just some bruising, of both eyeball and ego, and a needlessly aborted fishing trip.

This last was the worst part, of course. Because every fisherman is a speculator, and every speculator is an inveterate optimist. Whenever the fishing is bad, you know it’s just about to get great. You’re always just about to turn the corner. If only you can stay on the water for another half hour.

Single girls – especially independent single girls – are not supposed to want a significant other.

It’s written somewhere in the Independent Single Girls’ Handbook – “thou shalt be self-sufficient”.

I have rationalized this by repeatedly stating to myself the following mantra: If I can catch a fish by myself, then I obviously don’t need a man in my life.

There’s a serious flaw in this logic, by the way, and I’m not just talking about the fact that I’ve been fishing for close to six years now and I’ve only managed to catch 2 fish.

No, the flaw is much simpler than not catching fish.

It’s about human contact.

Practically every human being on this planet craves touch, affection, tenderness. Even the Maslow baby monkeys needed affection and touch to develop into adult monkeys.

Unfortunately, these are not things that come easily if it’s just you and your cat, Gunther.

Gunther is nice and all, but he’s just not your type.

Why, you ask?

Well, for one thing, his name is Gunther.

For another, he’s a different species and I’m not even going to get into how wrong that is.

So let’s move on to the point of all this rambling, shall we?

I’m falling for a guy.

Gasp!

Shock and awe!

The self-sufficient, happily independent girl is falling for a guy.

What’s his name, you ask?

His name isn’t important, mostly because I think that names can ruin a good story.

Like a sappy love story with a guy named Hansel.

It’s just plain ridiculous.

Or, better yet, who’s going to believe that a guy named Buster is the hero of some madcap, international spy adventure?

Names are just nonsense, anyway.

It’s not like you’re going to remember it or even know who he is, so what’s the point?

Anyway, I’m falling for him.

I have been for what seems like years, mostly because we’ve been really good at ignoring the Pink Elephant that moved into the living room when we met.

I don’t even notice the trumpeting anymore.

I’ve forgotten what a real relationship looks like.

I’ve also forgotten how to seek out a real relationship, which is, I think, even more sad.

It’s all as elusive as Bigfoot – I have a feeling it’s there, but I just can’t see it.

He’s not as hairy as Bigfoot, in case you were wondering.

I didn’t want you to get the wrong impression, that I might have fallen for the Wolfman, because I didn’t…and now I’m rambling.

Right.

Moving on.

The problem with all of this, though, is that this is falling in the good sense.

At least if you compare it to falling in the bad sense then it’s falling in the good sense.

I know it isn’t falling in the bad sense – the “Oh my god, my parachute won’t open and I’m going to – SPLAT!” sense.

And, in all honesty, it could be worse.

He could actually know that I’m falling for him.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I haven’t told him.

Maybe it’s self-preservation, a just-in-case scenario.

Like carrying around my galoshes, an umbrella, and a baseball cap – just in case the skies open and the next apocalyptic flood rains down upon us all.

I’m not a fan of full blown, in-your-face rejection.

You know, the kind of rejection where the guy doesn’t even have to say anything; he just looks at you and you feel like you’ve been sucker-punched in the gut by Andre the Giant.

I’ve been there before, when I was younger.

I’d rather not go back, thank you very much.

So, for right now, I’m content to stay in the holding pattern we’ve so quaintly established and maneuver my way around the Pink Elephant.

Of course, I’m hoping the elephant doesn’t decide to stampede and run me into the ground.

Then again, if it did, I wouldn’t have to tell him how I feel so it might be nice all around.

“I hear they’re selling houses in Denial and I think I’d like to sign up for a nice 2-bedroom with a garage where I can store my guilt when I’m not using it.”

Right, holding pattern it is, then.

I’d order a drink but I’m afraid the Elephant might resent the implication…

It’s possible that I am way, way late to this particular party, that everyone else in the western world has seen both installments of “Man vs. Beast” a dozen times and that every time I enter a room people are waiting for me to leave so they can resume their secret (from me) conversations about the show. But I saw it for the first time last night, and assuming there are other culture vultures out there with the same elephant-sized gap in their knowledge base, some context (and yes, the above photo of forty-odd midgets trying desperately to move a jetliner is completely relevant, though if anyone is looking for an explanation as to why the midgets seem to be color-coded you’ll have to go elsewhere, as that is beyond the scope of my (admittedly slight) “M v. B” knowledge):

It’s noon and I’m lying on my bed listening to the lilting voices of the neighbors waver with abandonment, teetering on the verge of happy hysteria. They are intoxicated, summer, weekend voices. BBQ gathering voices.

Excitable voices.

Gay.


Literally.

Under the purple rain of the flowering jacaranda tree next door lies a picnic blanket rife with fabulous cliché.

I mean no condescension, no judgment, no malice- but there is a collection of screamingly fey voices drifting over the back fence that have infiltrated my thoughts and invited themselves into my bedroom to rearrange the furniture and borrow my shoes.

I am eavesdropping on West Hollywood gossip. The highs and lows and ins and outs of the botoxed and be-muscled set. Offers of cocktails and declarations of “Ooooooo, yes!”

I smile.

The boys club is having a ball today.

The high pitched conversation makes my mind wander.

Growing up I had a lot of male “Aunties”. Gay couples were normal in my world. Two men together never once seemed strange or perverted. It saddens me that for some people it is such an issue. It glaaddens me that so much progress has been made.

My mother and I were so inured to homosexuality that it wasn’t even something we thought about much. Or discussed.

My nanny was a tranny and we didn’t even notice.

Her name was Ngaire (a Maori name traditionally pronounced “Niery” but which my stubborn, cross-dressing babysitter insisted was “Na-Gair”).

My mother hired Ngaire in all her 1920’s glamor when I was about ten years old. I loved her from the outset. I loved her eccentricities and elegance, her regal stature, her doting, grandmotherly love for me, her ability to lose at backgammon and never draw attention to the fact that I’d changed the rules.

I remember that she was in her late fifties, maybe.

She wore white satin gloves pushed in silky ripples up past her elbows.

She wore drop waisted dresses and curled, bobbed wigs.

She asked me to design outfits for her- purple hooded capes and fancy, beaded frocks with lace sashes. Then she had them made.

She wore strings and strings of low-hanging pearls.

She was an Agatha Christie character come to life.

She was my tranny, granny, nanny.

I remember the scandal we went through when we realized we’d been fooled.

It lasted about thirty seconds.

One day my mother had several guests over for drinks before heading out to a party, and one drunken lout saw through the (probably quite obvious) ruse and announced it to us when Ngaire was out of earshot. My mothers beautiful face took on an air of shock and bewilderment, her brain tick-tocked and did the math as she turned to me with a quizzical face.

The wigs. The costumes. The deeper voice. The bashful demeanor. The white satin gloves… worn to hide the mans hands!

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We looked at each other.

It made sense.

We smiled.

We laughed and shrugged.

Then the party left and Ngaire and I sat down to play backgammon.

I won.

Rules are made to be broken.

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1. Spending all your downtime at the bar is, at once, the absolute best and absolute worst thing you can do.

2. Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant does not stand up to the pressure of meeting, every two minutes, a new person who seems to quite casually wield the power to make or break your embryonic career.

 If you’ve spoken with me over the past several years, then you would know that I care deeply for the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise.

It’s just one of the many annoying things about me: I totally dig NBA basketball and I obsess over the Cavs.

That’s all I’ll really say about that because I don’t want to scare anyone away who isn’t a sports fan.

1. Yes, you can randomly drive in from Houston at 1am and stay with us.

2. If we rocked your world you don’t need to resist the temptation to psycho call us – just go with it.

3. Asking us if we’re wet in the proper tone and volume is the “question that answers itself” (A.L. Kennedy)

4. Since breastfeeding is our job, you’re mowing the lawn for life.

5. We can love your balls but only the unwrinkled, symmetrical, sweet smelling ones. OK, neutral smelling. According to informal research, approximately 12% of you have been blessed with gorgeous nuts. The sight of these balls cause us to drop to our knees for oral worship. If you don’t have a nice sack, the least you can do is keep the area well landscaped.

6. White socks on you are like beige bras on us. Lacy = argyle

7. Repairing a relationship after you’ve cheated is a bit like trying to rebuild Iraq. It’s hard to know whether to pull out or stay the course. Either way, proceed with conviction.

8. Careerist men should marry pretty women mainly interested in shopping and fashion. The old beauty-for-money exchange still functions quite well in modern times.

9. While cunnilingus does take more skill than fellatio, it is nonetheless expected in (near) equal ratio. This will never be be brought up only noticed and resented silently if it doesn’t happen.

10. Women are highly contradictory. Get the fuck over it. Please.