Love You, Love You Not

Love You, Love You Not

Friday, December 5, 2014

In the Numbers

Dad’s breath grew erratic and ragged. He drew one last, long burst of air and pushed it out, exhausted and spent. That was it.

Dad was gone.

This gentle, wry man—the one who showed me the numbers running throughout our entire lives—was gone.

From him, I learned that numbers are everywhere, pulling order out of chaos. Say, for example, the geospatial trajectory of a BB shot through the air by a malicious brother.

Numbers were in the kitchen when I asked Dad a cooking question, like how many cups were in a gallon. “Pint’s a pound, world around,” he’d respond, matter-of-factly. Beneath those words, layers of equations and calculations would produce the answer I needed (16).

Numbers were with me even when Dad wasn’t. In gym class, I mentally graphed my deceleration as that Presidential Fitness mile wore on—an exponential curve with speed along the y-axis and time over the x-axis.

In second grade, I caught hell for using the top of my desk to track the ratio of times the teacher called on girls versus boys. Sitting at that desk over recess, scrubbing away the carefully penciled charts and graphs, remains a vivid childhood memory.

The moment after Dad took his last breath, his empty shell lying on the bed, the numbers were silent. No equation could graph our pain.

I grappled behind me for something, anything solid, and found Charles. I turned into him, buried my face on his shoulder and sobbed as he held me tightly.

My Charles. He was there with my family that whole horrible week. He took shifts like the rest of us, staying up with Dad, plying him with morphine. He ran errands, made phone calls, smoothed ruffled feathers. He stroked my back and held my hand.

In the days following Dad’s death, Charles was there. He pooled music for my dad’s wake and funeral. He brokered peace between brothers at the funeral home. He made sure my mother ate, helped hustle her out of the house when she would have lingered indeterminately, and corralled all the paperwork needed for the business of death.

On the day of the funeral, we sat in a straight line in the front pew of the church—all fixed points in a cruel equation of life balanced with loss.

Charles pulled the eulogy he wrote from the pocket of his suit jacket and walked up to the stage. Numbly, I sat, holding my mother's hand. Charles began talking about the strong and quiet man my father was. Suddenly, we heard a catch in his voice.

Then, a sob.

Two weeks of attending to our grief, and my husband had forgotten about his own. All that time, he was anything and everything my family needed. He did it all without fanfare, blending into the background of grief. But his pent-up emotion would no longer be set aside.

Suddenly, the numbers snapped into focus. I could see a graph for how I’d loved my husband (y-axis) over time (x-axis). Far from a straight line, the points on this graph jumped around, snuck up on me, surprised me. This moment in time soared above the rest, as Charles grieved for my father and I saw my husband for the man he was—for me, for all of us.

Charles was still crying. Everyone sat, silent and waiting.

I jumped out of my seat and onto the stage. I hugged my husband, took his hand, and looked down at his notes. I began to read, “For Dad, God was in the numbers.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Negotiations Are for Turkeys

I'm shoring up shopping plans for tomorrow. This, of course, means consulting a half dozen cookbooks and the Thanksgiving Spreadsheet. The following conversation with Husband ensues:

ME: We need to buy a turkey of 12 to 14 pounds.
HIM: What, now? I'm not wearing pants.
ME: No, tomorrow. When we're at the store.
HIM: Hmm. Okay.
ME: Good.
HIM: Wait. I think we need a bigger turkey.
ME: No, we don't. Remember last year?
HIM: No, it's more than a week ago.
ME: Last year, you picked out the biggest turkey they had. Kitchen disaster ensued. And we had waaaay too much turkey.
HIM: No such thing.
ME: Yes. You even admitted as much.
HIM: That doesn't sound like me.
ME: I don't know what to tell you.
HIM: Shouldn't we do some math, figure out how many pounds of turkey per person?
ME: Who's eating POUNDS of turkey?
HIM: Me, easy.
ME: Listen, it's like four people who will actually eat turkey, and you're one of them. I think 14 pounds of turkey will suffice.
HIM: I don't know...
ME: Pal, this is not a negotiation. We are getting a turkey of 12 to 14 pounds.
HIM: 14 pounds, then!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Inside the Bubble

"You doing okay, buddy?"

After one minute on the phone, Husband knows something is wrong. He claims he can’t read my mind, but the Marriage Mind Meld makes him dangerous enough.

The answer to his question, “no,” lacks all evidence to support it. Nobody died. Nothing went wrong at work. There was no call from home with drama. I am not hurt, or sick, or crying, or worried. But I’m not okay.

Nothing’s wrong. But something’s not right.

Numbness crept back in where I thought I had beaten it back. I found myself in that dark bubble, where time moves slower, food tastes muted, and all ties between me and the world dissolves. My existence distilled down to the couch and a subscription to Hulu.

I’m letting Husband down. I’m letting myself down. Vaguely, I worry about falling into old habits. In the end, though, I don’t care enough to do anything.

You doing okay, buddy?

"No. Yes...I don't know." It comes out petulant, like a seven-year-old girl stamping her Mary Janes.

"Okay. We'll talk when I get home. Do you need anything?" Like what? A new brain? A fucking time machine? Food? I can’t be bothered.

Then Husband is walking into the dark house, finding me on the couch, dimly illuminated by the glow of the television screen. He offers me his hand and pulls me up. I stand, immediately folded into a hug.

"Scientists say that hugging releases dopamine. Or endorphins. Let’s say endopamines. They make you happy, but you need twenty seconds for the hug to work.”

“One Mississippi…two Mississippi…three Mississippi…” he whispers in my ear.

I sink into him. We stay like that, him supporting me and counting softly, for a full twenty Mississippis. Finally, he pulls away, kisses me on the forehead, and sits us down on the couch.

“Why don’t you tell me about it?”

No judgment. No admonishment. No you-should-do-thises. Instead, he sits and listens. I tell him the everything and the nothing of it all. He says, “Whatever this is—if it’s work, if it’s me, whatever—we’ll figure it out.” Eyes brimming with tears, not trusting myself with any more words, I nod, then sink my head down onto his chest.

He loves me. So much.

He’s not here to charge in and chase anything away, or even shine a light on it. Depression, the sneaky bastard, doesn’t work like that, and he knows it. Rather than stand outside the boundaries of that darkness, taking shots at it, he sneaks inside the bubble with me. He sits. He takes it in. He’s here.

He shares it all with me.

Already, I feel lighter for it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shower Friends

Water sluices down on us,
ricocheting off black marble.
Soft gentle words speak in my ear,
sharing tales of those living in the wall.

Jaunty Pirate Bunny,
eternally in profile—see his nose?
His hat?
Pirate Bunny sails the water rivulets,
down the walls,
circling the drain,
searching for carrot loot.
(He won't find any of that in here!)
Shh. Don't tell him.

Austere Rat,
Not cavalier or chipper. Nobody
likes a cheerful rat.
(Everybody likes a cheerful rat.)
Not when he's your dentist.

Moving on...

Eyes, horns, ears—
Upside-down floating cow.
(Maybe upside-down floating bison,
with the frizzy mane?)
No, upside-down floating cow!
So high.
Aliens zorped him up here,
that's why.

Happy monkey
(You sure that's not you?)
No, he is tricksy, so the confusion
is natural. Happy monkey,
(Smug Monkey)
sneaks up behind Pirate Bunny,
something clever up his sleeve.

Sad frog (Why is he sad?)
He's a sprained hopper, flies
killed his mother.
Day and night he hops
and drinks (and drinks), out for
vengeance. For meaning.
For hope.

A gust of wind, a beak here,
windswept feathers there,
The Great Gun-Slinging Ostrich.
(You can only see his head. Where's
his gun?) Look at him:
Grizzled, grim.
He's packing heat.
Bringing order, keeping
peace, his great burden
to bear.

A small wet kiss, dropped
on the neck.
Don't worry, Wife.
You're safe with me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Like Chess, or Othello, ManTrap™ is a game that takes moments to learn, but a lifetime to master. This is especially true when the game is played by strategians, like Husband, or derby gals, like me.


The goal of ManTrap™ is to pin your man to the bed, by any means necessary.

A game of ManTrap™ sneaks up on you. What seems like a sweet hug between husband and wife can turn into a shoving fight to the mattresses. Hone your reflexes, and in the immortal words of Mad Eye Moody (or rather, Barty Crouch, Jr.): CONSTANT VIGILANCE. 


Hardwood floors and sock feet work to your advantage. Catch your man wearing socks on a hardwood floor, and half the work is done for you. Just be sure to leave your own socks behind; the disadvantage works both ways.


ManTrap™ truly evolves over time. As you level up your own skill set, your opponent does the same. You develop new strategies, new measures to ensure your success. Your opponent learns to counter them. And the Chess match begins.


I bend my knees, get low, lean into my man, and brace a foot on the ground. As I do, I visualize myself as a large boulder, an immovable force of nature. 

Counter-Measure: Husband counters; he pushes my arms up above his shoulders. Pinning my arms at this height keeps me from lowering my center of mass. Tricksy.

Counter-Counter-Measure: To resist, I keep my arms low and minimize his ability to subvert them. I think about the gap between my side and my arms; then close it.

Bed ninja rolls

Once Husband has been pushed into the bedroom, he senses defeat is imminent. His last-ditch effort, his Hail Mary pass, is the Ninja Roll. He disengages from my loving embrace, races into the room, and jumps on the bed, hoping I will give chase. Once he has me on the side of the bed, ready to follow him, he Rolls, his feet tucked close to his body and his knees creating an L with his legs. Ninja Husband rolls from one side to the other and hops off the opposite end of the bed. (Nine points on the dismount from the Canadian judge, only 6 from the Russian judge.) The confusion of the direction change and the heat of the chase buy him a few extra seconds to make a run for the door.

Counter-measure: Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice…well, you know. Now, when Husband breaks away and makes a run for the bed, I do not give chase. Instead, I center myself between the door and the bed. Like a fucking athlete, I widen my stance, bend my knees, keep my weight on my toes, shifting lightly from one foot to the other. I am a tiger, ready to pounce at the slightest movement. My prey is trapped. Until…

Level UP: +1 to Magic Socks spell

Husband was trapped on the bed, rolling back and forth on his back. Slowly, without so much as a change in expression or break in eye contact, he reached down and pulled first one sock, then the other, off his feet. With a faint glint of mischief in his eyes, he began balling up the socks and passing them from one hand to the other. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Charging up a spell.”

My attention and readiness did not waver. When he rolled off one side of the bed and ran toward me, I was ready. But then. Then, Husband hurled the socks at my face and yelled, “Magic Socks!”

Even so, my jungle cat instincts did not let him pass. As he rushed forward, I stepped into him and pinned him to my armoire. “Oh noooooo!” he cried, dismayed at his surprising defeat.

With my Husband still pinned, I laughed. 

     And laughed. 

          And laughed. I doubled over with the laughter.

Seeing his chance, Husband spun and danced away, crying “Lingering Effect!”

Even in the face of defeat, it didn’t matter. I was still laughing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

City mouse goes to country dairy.

Once there lived a couple of 2 in a small condo in the city. There was a city mouse named Megan. City mouse lived with a mischievous city monkey named Charles. City mouse loved all kinds of things including strappy shoes, shiny purple things, city monkey and, most of all, cheese. City monkey loved joking with and pulling jokes on others, root beer, ice cream and, most of all, city mouse.

One day, Megan learned about a magical convention. It happened a ways away near the country dairies in a land of wonder called Wisconsin. At this convention, for a nominal charge, city mouse could discover tons of new types of cheese. Not only that, she could discover lots of new ways to present that cheese. Best of all, she would get to TRY all these new types of cheese. To this Megan could only squeak in triumphant joy, "CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE!"
Charles realized that this Wisconsin was the home of some tasty root beer, called Sprecher, and suspected that any dairy worth its butter would have fresh ice cream to boot. With that, a plan was made, city mouse and city monkey were going to the country dairyland!

Charles made plans with another monkey at his night job to work his weekend shift flinging poo at Helpdesk callers. While he couldn't get all the days off for it, he managed to get enough to join Megan for the Friday night onward. Megan took a day off work and rented a mouse-buggy to drive up to dairyland. While her mouse-buggy didn't have cruise control, the drive there was relatively short and the promise of cheese quelled any frustration on that end.

So it was that our heroes arrived at a wondrous weekend. On Friday during the day while city monkey slept, city mouse got to tour an honest-to-goodness dairy, called the Sassy Cow Creamery. She learned how milk, cheese, and butter were made. She got to see all the cows and even got to see someone milk a cow. Once awake, city monkey drove to the hotel and met up with Megan for a dinner out on the town. Cheese pizza, white cheddar fried cheese curds, and draft Sprecher root beer for all!

Saturday brought more cheese-tastic adventures. The day started with a short hop to the University of Wisconsin's ice cream shop at Babcock hall. FRESH ICE CREAM! City monkey's weekend was made. After this Megan and Charles learned about how to make a right proper cheese plate for serving guests and then learned what kind of wine to have with that cheese. City monkey had a little of the bubbly wine, but couldn't really handle the alcohol and left it to city mouse. The evening brought out all the cheesemakers. 33 separate tables were set up with cheese makers from far and wide giving out free samples of their cheese! For the first time in his life, city monkey saw city mouse get overful of cheese.

Sunday was a new day and city mouse felt ready to tackle cheese once more. Before leaving town, Charles and Megan attended one last cheese-riffic event, the cheese market. Here cheese people actually got to sell their cheesy wares. City mouse couldn't resist stocking up on all kinds of fancy cheese to take home for herself and friends. Now there is a group of three, city mouse, city monkey, and cheese drawer. All live in the same small condo in the city happily ever after.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Adventures of Lazy Boy and Pain Girl in Y-land

"What are 3 things that keep you from exercising?" Megan and I were half-way through our newbie member survey for the YMCA trainer we were to meet when this joke of a question came up. I knew answering this by listing things I'd rather be doing would give me too many results. If I had to list actual people or things stopping me I'd have none. Scrambling to come up with ideas I came up with the following: 1. I'm lazy. 2. It's boring. 3. I'm lazy. Megan's list was something to the effect that: 1. It's painful. 2. It's not fun. 3. It's painful. With this Lazy Boy and Pain Girl emerged to triumph over the evils of Y-land.

We've done the gym route before. My wife had substantial success with one of those giant corporate 24-hr SUPERGYMS (the best way to say that last word is through gritted teeth in more of a growl than a clear enunciation). I did not and in the end I think I ruined it for her. It started out ok, I signed up for a not-cheap package of a dozen trainer sessions combined with the monthly fee for membership. My thought was, I've never used these torture, I mean work-out, machines before so I better have someone teach me how to do it properly. I was assigned a decent enough seeming young fellow whose actual name I can no longer remember. His prompt goal seemed to be to put me on his regimen including supplements, fancy shakes, and god knows what kind of diet. Chief among these was something called MuscleMilk. MuscleMilk is an easier name to remember him by than whatever his name really was so that's what we'll call him.

MuscleMilk was a master of misestimation. He underestimated the tenacity of my stubbornness and overestimated the level of ability I possessed for lifting heavy things. So basically what this meant was that when I told him I had no desire to buy special supplements and such (even though I had dramatically altered my diet to avoid fast food and eat more healthy food) and I nearly passed out twice due to intense work-outs, he gave up. I would make appointments to meet with him for workouts at 7 a.m. and he'd no-call and no-show for half of them. It happened a half-dozen times or more. I never learned a basic level of mastery of working out to get started and quickly gave up, disgusted after dealing with the rudeness of the staff when I'd ask if they'd seen my trainer every time he no-call/no-showed. Eventually we bought a treadmill for the home since that's the only machine I felt confident using and what I wound up doing for an hour every time MuscleMilk stayed home to sleep off his club weekend hangover.

Fast forward a year and Lazy Boy and Pain Girl have decided to do this. We checked out the facilities, met with the staff, and got a good feeling about the functionality of the nearby YMCA to accommodate our needs. With our membership we get 4 visits with a trainer as well as enrollment into a software work-out system called Activetrax. So far the combination of those as well as the layout of the place has been perfect! The trainer was a sprightly wee lass whose name I never did get. She mentioned being a dancer herself and you could tell she had an idea of how to work out correctly. She pointed out things that both Megan and I were doing wrong, gave tips on how to proceed, and explained how to use the software program to generate work-outs we understood to progress. The online program has a searchable database of foods that you can easily use to help track your diet and monitor your caloric/fat/protein intake. Not only that, but the machines actually have diagrams showing you how to use them. It's been a month and Lazy Boy has already lost 6 of the 20 lbs he wanted to lose and Lazy Boy knows better than to ask any Girl about their weight, but we both seem to be rocking our goals in Y-land.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Scooter goes to dinner

My wife and I have a fictional child together. Fictional children are the best to have. They don't wet the bed. They don't cost you money. They don't even wait until they've decimated a dozen and a half years of your life to say "I hate you!" No, fictional children are awesome because their hypothetical existence only occurs when you have to consider how you, as a non-parent, would respond to situations parents face everyday. I encourage everyone to have a fictional child or 2. Rename the voices in your head if you must. Scooter is the name of our FC.

Recently Megan shot me a link on facebook about a restaurant that let their patrons know, unequivocally, that screaming children would not be tolerated. I figured everyone would champion the cause of the Olde Salty. I used to think that the best thing to add to my steak was the shrieking howl of some oblivious nearby parent's "precious." Over time, I have found that A-1 does enhance the flavor better, but still I get the shrieking howl. Wishing there was a place I could go that didn't serve the screaming was a dream I dared not dream until one brave little restaurant decided to make it a reality. We found out pretty fast that my desire for relaxation with my meal was an offensive assault to some.

Right off, people tried to make it a legal issue. "That's discrimination!" Choosing to eat out is discrimination. I am a discriminating person who knows he cannot cook and would like to pay a more talented person to do it for me in an inviting atmosphere. This place didn't say they wouldn't serve children, just that they wouldn't tolerate those who had the manners of a bum strung out on meth.

Then it became an attack on the restaurant and the owners. "They are a hellhole and I hope they choke on the feet of 1000 chickens." I've never eaten at the place and neither have you, so why go all Taliban on them?

I understand that children aren't always perfect. In public I often look the other way when they're acting out because that's what kids do. The problem for me is trying to understand why people take infants and small children who don't behave out to a public restaurant. My parents had a whole arsenal of ways to deal with it. They had the "guess who gets to stay over at grammas tonight!" problem avoidance approach. There was the "don't MAKE me take my belt off!" tabletop approach. A close companion to the last is the "just wait 'til we get home!" approach, accompanied with the maniacal smile that always brought my brother and I to silence. Last but not least there was the "where's my mom?" approach. The last was the one where my brother and I never saw our mother at a restaurant or movie because she was constantly taking the screaming/upset/tired child who acted out to the bathroom or outside until they calmed themselves. My mother never saw an entire movie in the late 80's to mid 90's, poor gal.

Megan and I aren't fools. We know Scooter, despite being the awesomest kid ever, would act up. Rather than get upset at others for wanting some peace and quiet with the meal they'd purchased, we just decided to use the wisdom of our elders to avoid the problem at the start. Scooter would either not go to dinner until he could behave or we'd stop him from ruining everyone else's experience. How hard is that, parents?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Schaumburg Stroller Steam-Roller

My wife, Megan, has become a sports fan. It wasn't the crack of the bat on a muggy summer afternoon that brought her around. Nor did the swoosh of freshly shredded ice on a hockey arena bring her into athletic admiration. It wasn't even the world-craze of what we call soccer that gave her the sporty-spirit. No, it was the sweaty, bare-knuckled, brutish, home-grown sport of Rollerderby that brought out the "YEAH"edness of athletic joy!

Due to the ghoulish nature of my current after-hours employment situation, I have yet to witness this marvel. The rules (as best as I remember her describing them) are something like this:

First rule of Rollerderby: There is no Rollerderby....errr, I mean, there is no ball. Apparently in place of a ball, puck, or other ball-like object, they just have the main woman on each team that they call a "Jammer" and their job is to lap the rest of the team somehow on this small indoor enclosed track.

Second rule of Rollerderby: Knock the shit out of each other and keep going around in the track.

Third rule of Rollerderby: be a female with a name like Suzie Crotchrot or Kweefer Sutherland.

Fourth rule of Rollerderby: wear fishnets, skirts, short shorts, or some other manner of bizarre and eye-catching attire.

As far as I know, that's pretty much it. The idea of a bunch of badass, bawdy babes banking each other off the barriers of an indoor rink sounds like a pay-per-view event to me. In fact, I've even suggested Megan consider taking up the sport. I've even picked out her name!

The name, though, the name isn't something so easily told. It's something you have to understand. My little lady possesses the beauty, intelligence and understanding one can only hope to have of the best friend they'd want in life. However, put her in a crowd of people and as Dr. Banner once said, "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

I approach a crowd reticently. I tend to avoid them in the first place whenever possible. If I absolutely have to navigate a crowd my method of traversing them is subtle. I slide through a crowd like a deer through a densely packed tree-filled forest. I absolve the gawking mall-minions by considering them erratically moving-obstacles to be surpassed and not really intelligent human-beings, it's easier that way.

Megan has more trouble because she can't just forgive them for wasting her time, by dehumanizing them like I do. Since she still considers them rational human beings, but ones that are negatively impacting her day, she takes a simpler approach. If you're in the middle of the mall, sucker, you better MOVE! The Body Shop has things she needs and you Lady Stroller-who-has-all-day-to-stand-there-in-the-way-while-your-spawn-hurls-projectiles-out-the-side-like-it's-a-movable-artillery-piece, need to get GONE! When I watch her fearlessness as she violates the personal space of foolish dilly-dallyers in the mall, all the while huffing notably to get their attention, I wish I had popcorn because in itself it seems a sport to behold. For this reason, her Rollerderby name should be the Schaumburg Stroller Steam-Roller. Now she just needs the outfit.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

To go ON vacation, not to vacation...

There are a class of people that view vacation as a verb. This class of people thinks the most relaxing thing to do away from their job is to exert themselves strenuously in exotic locations. They yearn for the opportunity to drip sweat in new and fabulous places. Fortunately, we have a name for these people, Insane.

On the far other spectrum, there are those that view vacation as a condition. This class of people thinks the most relaxing thing to do away from their job (or, more likely, retirement) is to completely avoid exerting themselves at all in exotic locations. They yearn for the opportunity to have their, quite likely large, posteriors hauled about in a motorized go-kart in new and fabulous places. We have a name for these people too, Senior Citizens.

Myself? I belong with the class of people that see vacation as a place. It's a place of exotic locations full of new bbq'd food I don't have to cook. This place can have a moderate amount of activity to let my heart know that blood pumps through it, but not enough so that I can experience a full-on Marine boot camp. Vacation is the place I'm going to imagine what the "good life" is for when I win the lottery or settle in full-time as my wife's kitchen-bitch. It's relaxing, full of fun things I choose to do, and enjoyable. Which brings me to our current conundrum, what to do on vacation?

My wife and I have had the desire to go to Italy for some time. While the global economic collapse has been slowly hastening the demise of the Euro, thus making our U.S. dollar worth something there, it ain't dead yet so the affordability meter pushes us outta that realm this year. Enter our next choice: Iceland! Iceland had everything my wife desired from a vacation. Some museums, pretty naturey stuff, and foremost, a non-tropical climate zone! We were set...until the Volcano gods spewed ash all over the place. They're fun to visit when they aren't exploding was my guess. Not to be defeated, I came up with the winner of this year's retreat: Alaska!

Alaska has everything. It has old-timesy cheesetacular costume-appareled guided tours regaling the hey-day of gold-panners and brothels. It has cultural tours, totem exhibits, and museums from some of the local tribes. It has puffins, and whales and grizzlies, oh my! Also, despite popular belief, the cfc's emitted from the 80's hair bands has not hastened the dissolution of the glaciers and, in fact, there are literally dozens of things you can do to/on/around them.

The problem comes with what to do. Being a vacation-is-a-place kinda guy, I like the ones where a helicopter flies you up on top of a glacier where you hike a little bit and then climb on the back of a sled and command your own dog-sled team. This, then, to my mind should be followed up by a nice excursion where you lounge on a Catamaran as it glides you out to climb on the back of whales for a photo shoot. A little bit of exertion and a little bit of being carried about is perfect to me. My wife, however, has a slightly different bent. She's a vacation-is-a-place kinda gal with a streak of vacation-as-a-verb kinda gal. The first one sounds grand to her, but then she wants to follow that up with the Muscle Milk Extreme! excursion where paramilitary ninjas suit you up, take you on top of a glacier, throw you off and demand that you climb the jagged sheer cliff of the glacier and hike through a blizzard wearing a hoodie to rendezvous for evac under a full moon at dawn. Also, the ninjas charge you a lot for making you do all the work, which is shady behavior even for ninjas. Pointing this out to my wife made her call me the Senior Citizen title which is unfair and, "HEY, kid, Get off the lawn!!"