Posts Tagged ‘providing funding for unnecessary studies’

why does the wii hate my stomach so much?

24 March 2009

around the time wii fit was released i read an article about whether the game really helped people lose weight and become more toned. the author concluded that users only benefited when they were active participants in the program. now i realize it’s difficult to believe such groundbreaking scientific discoveries at first glance, so perhaps my anecdotal evidence in support of the research can persuade you to believe this claim which seems so preposterous.

from may until august of last year i worked out (i use that phrase loosely) on the wii three or four times a week. then i stopped for various reasons, as the system remained in my trunk unless someone challenged me to a game of bowling. in december i weighed myself, finding that i had gained slightly over thirty-one pounds in four months. just like that i had returned to my high school weight, but i was remiss to give the wii the credit it probably deserved.

after returning to the world of console exercising, i soon discovered, in my absence, the machine had formed a grudge. at every turn, my computer trainer berated my lack of fitness, my poor posture, and my slackening muscles. if i turned it on in the morning i was asked, somewhat mockingly, if i had eaten breakfast yet. did i know, it would ask, that that meal was incredibly important, that my body relied on the energy gained to fuel it throughout the day. if i returned at night it would chastise me for being up so late and lecture me about the consequences of not sleeping. i strained, balancing on one leg, only to have it tell me that i likely trip over my feet when i walk due to lack of coordination. i tried to weather its insults, consoling myself briefly with the adage no pain, no gain, until i could no longer pretend the statement pertained to verbal abuse. i returned to my high school-level of depression.

the wii once wondered about one of my friends who hadn’t signed in for a few months (she had moved to charleston). it presented choices for me: she was fatter, about the same, trimmer. of course i chose the first one, the on-screen balance board visibly enjoying her defeat. it advised me not to tell her, but if i absolutely had to i needed to break it to her gently. tell her she’s been living large, it suggested. what, then, was it telling my friends about me? i became increasingly worried that the world was looking at me differently. i used to be confident, i assured myself; now, when i’m walking passed a group of people, i know they are talking about me, i know they are high-fiving each other after a witty remark about my love handles. they are constantly making jokes about the guy that favors his right side and leans back too far on his heels.

i do not hold out much hope that our relationship, mine and the wii’s, will be amicable in the future. i will always be one step behind. i will always mistake the panda heads kicked toward me for soccer balls. i will never be able to catch enough fish while wearing a penguin costume. this is my fate, made harder by the fact that a machine relishes every second of my collapse.


the battle of who could care less.

11 November 2008

a few years ago i heard about a research project conducted on public bathrooms that found that sensitive men use the middle stalls. since then i’ve always made a conscious effort to be a sensitive man, just in case the study’s acolytes are at the row of sinks, gauging potential suitors. even though i haven’t been able to find anything on the internet to corroborate these findings, which is leading me to believe i imagined them, i don’t see any reason to discontinue this practice.

unfortunately i was only privy to my own thoughts upon entering the men’s bathroom at nassau coliseum. obviously there were those who wondered where colin powell was seated after dropping the game’s first puck or if it was true, as had been speculated, that he was escorted to the roof and taken by helicopter back to washington. ten thousand people or less marveled at the free camouflage hat given away at the door and many tried to take pictures to send to their friends whose other obligations (work, distance, intelligence) kept them from the game. a few calculated how low they could bid on an autographed picture of rick dipietro with a yellowed section of game-used net and still win the auction. many wished that the member of the cast of entourage in attendance had been this guy rather than this guy, who is about four and a half feet tall in person (apparently the camera adds a few inches of height as well). some would have even preferred this guy, though they’d insist he adopt a different facial expression. a couple of people wanted to see this guy, but only so they could punch him in the face.

don’t get me wrong, there were also those who thought about the actual game, those questioning the national hockey league’s decision to replace the puck with a hot potato, as players consistently lobbed uninspired passes to the opposing team. the referees tried to help out the last-place islanders by giving them two five-on-three power plays but the team was too busy yawning to shoot. in acknowledgment of the lackadaisical play of the first period the islanders’ second period jersey featured a calico kitten sleeping beside a reddish-orange ball of yarn, the flyers mascot became a combination of three-toed sloth and flightless bird.

it wasn’t always like this in long island. for the first few years of my life, i thought that it was a requirement that the new york islanders be awarded the stanley cup, the team winning four years in a row following my introduction to the game (well, if i assume my introduction to the game came during my ninth month of life — and i ignored all the talk, during the 1979-1980 season, surrounding the montreal canadiens, last year’s champions).

just when the crowd was deciding on creative ways to end the game, russian roulette being, far and away, the top choice, danny briere faked a slap shot before wristing the puck over joey macdonald to make it 1-0. the only reason anyone stayed for the conclusion was that every child in attendance got to step on the ice and take a shot on goal. until then everyone sat on their hands as the intensity of the game demanded.

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