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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Measure This!

Somewhere deep and dark and slippery lies the heart of attractiveness. Setting off primal, limbic impulses, there are some faces and bodies and voices that inspire nearly universal approval. If we can isolate such an intangible thing as sexiness in a man, something that oozes across a silver screen and melts itself into women's panties, then surely, as a man, I must figure it out! If only to understand my own insecurities. But how do I create metrics for such a subjective experience? First, I must start with a list.

To create such a list, I had to get deeply in touch with the anima inside. I also interviewed Olaiya and Diane to get some preliminary names and impressions. I compared their lists with various top 5, top 20 and top 100 lists from Europe and America. I then compiled a revised, Stave It Off approved list of the 20 sexiest men in 2006. Interestingly, most of these names appeared over and over again on other people's lists... suggesting that a relatively small handful of actors are tweaking femdom's collective nipples.

Part two is that I present the list to the public and invite comparison, derision and justification for your favorites. Hopefully, your feedback will illuminate something profound for all of us.

The rules: I've omitted people that used to be sexy. You will not find Sean Connery, Paul Newman, Harrison Ford or Peter O'Toole on this list. I know people say Sean Connery is still sexy, but that's just freakin' creepy. Nor will you find Jack Nicholson. If you think he's sexy, go find a fetish site to read. I've also tried to distinguish between "handsomeness" and "sexiness". Note that neither Ben Affleck nor Keanu Reeves appear on the list. I've also omitted the Elijah Wood/Toby McGuire/Matt Damon manchild archetype. If you're into those kinds of guys, you should probably stay away from the teaching profession, and my research project. Now that I've finished telling you what to think... it's your turn to tell me! In no particular order, here come our research subjects:

John Turturro

Ewan McGregor

Clive Owen

Johnny Depp

John Stewart

Christian Bale

Gael Garcia Bernal

Jet Li

Viggo Mortensen

Chiwetel Ejiofor

George Clooney

Terrance Howard

Robert Downey Jr.

Alfred Molina

Javier Bardem

Takeshi Kaneshiro

Benicio Del Toro

Hugh Jackman

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

Jaoquin Phoenix


Friday, July 28, 2006

From the Old Files

Looking back through my notes from MSW school, I found some old doodles I must have made while sitting through boring lectures. Thanks to the magic of my HP Scanjet 4370, I present them now for your amusement.

Difficulties arose when Hogwarts offered a Masters in Teaching program.

Every classroom contains a potentially explosive situation that must be carefully avoided.

Brain composts and flowers sprout.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Smoking Ban

One year, 9 months and 11 days. That's how long it had been since I'd smoked a cigarette when, on last Sunday evening, I broke my abstinence. An old friend (and one of the only smokers I know these days) was in town just for that night. I had tossed back several beers, and while we strolled the scenic sidewalks of crepuscular Capitol Hill, I asked him to toss me a butt from his pack. It was a Marlboro Light I believe.

I have two reactions to this surprising turn of events. First, I don't have any intention to start smoking again. I didn't really enjoy it much. Second, I do not regret my decision to have a cigarette with an old friend. I didn't do it because I was trashed. I did it because I was sick of feeling like an addict.

I was tired of counting the months and days since I quit. I was tired of feeling them mount up like straws on a camel's back. I was tired of conceiving of myself as an addict in recovery. And I think many people have trouble with this. We don't really like to think of ourselves as damaged, vulnerable or flawed. Just ask anyone on antidepressants. People can't wait to get off those things once they feel stabilized. Somehow, in my mind at least, smoking a single cigarette transformed me from a fragile person attempting to stay in "recovery" to a healthy, strong-willed person capable of having a cigarette without giving the tobacco any power over me. Though it may seem counterintuitive, not smoking actually made me feel more like a tobacco addict than smoking that cigarette did.

Is this delusional? Well, probably. And perhaps someday I will regret my actions of last Sunday. But for now I'm more curious about this phenomenon I experienced. Do people often suffer this kind of "weighted-downed-ness" when they deal with old demons? And do they sometimes feel empowered by giving up the absolutism that goes hand-in-hand with addiction treatment (or other treatments for that matter?)

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Physical Meditations

Madrona Park, my favorite swimming hole along Lake Washington, has removed its diving board. Something about some lame kid getting brain damage while diving into shallow water. (Soon there'll be warning labels on bottles of water so that people don't accidently drown in them.) Consequently, this summer I will not host my normal sundrenched season of spring board contortionism. Instead I've decided upon tennis. Olaiya is picking up the game at an alarming speed, and has her eye on a fetching set of "tennis whites". So even when she doesn't play well, she'll look great! Steve and I also crossed rackets recently and smashed balls over the fences (not just over the net, mind you, but right out of the park!) with great frequency... Trumpeting "Homerun!" each time a ball would sail off into the blue ether. Neighboring tennis players didn't find this near as amusing as we did.

In other athletic adventure news: one of my three softball teams is finished for the year. Kate's Pub won the Seattle Bar League Championship two weekends ago. Then we all got drunk. Actually we were a little tipsy to start with.

All Hail Kate's Pub!

Now I just have to survive the rest of the season in my Jewish Community Center league. The starting shortstop in my B league team just went down for the rest of the season with a nasty ankle sprain, and last week someone had to be carted away in an ambulance (and this is the league where people usually play sober!) My biggest injury complaint this year has been all knee skinnings. I actually decided to dye my bedsheets coffee brown so that all the little blood stains from my scabby knees won't show after a decent washing. A brilliant plan, but now my sheets act like camouflage when Olaiya is lying in bed. I have to be careful not to accidently crush her.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trends in Hygiene

A casual browse through personal hygiene aisles at Bartells revealed an interesting new phenomenon: Apricot scented deodorant! Apparently all the rage amongst granolas and 30 something Vermonters, now we can all enjoy the smell of apricot pits. (Try as I might, I could not possibly avoid that pun.) Right there next to the calendula, honeysuckle and chamomile, at least two different brands of stink-wipe were hocking this new flavor. I'm officially calling it a movement, so jump on board! Imagine how mouth-wateringly delicious your armpits will smell after a healthy swipe!

I didn't bite on the apricot, but I did purchase a tube of Toms of Maine orange-mango toothpaste... so now my mouth is mouth-wateringly delicious. Seems to be causing a drooling problem.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Photo Spectacular

Here are the pics from O's and my trip to Bellingham.

Cooling off in a Euro-style cafe with a Stella Artois.

Olaiya sips her white wine between nibbles of goat cheese and crackers.

Dan, the Napoleon of Lummi Island.

O, partially obscured by beer.

We weren't drinking beer the entire time, it just looks like it.