So long, Aggies … what the Big 12 (and Cee Lo Green) thinks about Texas A&M leaving

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How could I not write about whining, crying, big baby Texas A&M bailing on the Big 12? As the season starts, a look at how each team feels about the Aggies folding up tent (and week one predictions):

OKLAHOMA: Like pretty much everybody, Texas A&M has done virtually nothing against the Sooners the past decade. Because of that, the Sooners are “gonna miss you,” Aggies …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Pain, for Tulsa. Oklahoma 56, Tulsa 14.

TEXAS: The hate for the Longhorns clearly runs deep. Thing is, they don’t care. In fact, Texas A&M, Texas says forget you …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Texas 49, Rice 10.

MISSOURI: For the second straight summer, a school leaves while Missouri sits and wonders. Last year, rumors had the Tigers in the Big Ten. This year, some said the Tigers might go to the SEC with the Aggies. …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Missouri 35, Miami (Ohio) 14.

OKLAHOMA STATE: I’ll give the Cowboys credit. You don’t hear them whining about wanting to leave, even though presumably they aren’t a sexy expansion pick. Either that, or they’re extremely patient …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 59, Louisiana-Lafayette 21.

BAYLOR: Throw Baylor in the mix with Iowa State, among others, on the list of schools completely boned if the Big 12 breaks up. In other words, Texas A&M …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: TCU 27, Baylor 17.

KANSAS STATE: Sorry Wildcats, you might as well be on that list with Baylor and Iowa State, maybe a step above. The Aggies already cost K-State its only shot at a national title. Geez …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: K-State 52, Eastern Kentucky 17.

TEXAS TECH: Does anyone really care? In an ongoing theme, in regard to former coach Mike Leach …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Texas Tech 51, Texas State 14.

IOWA STATE: Poor Cyclones. Most likely to be left in the lurch. And A&M treats them so carelessly …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Iowa State 24, Northern Iowa 14

KANSAS: This might work out for the Jayhawks. They look like a Division I-AA team anyway. My vote to replace Turner Gill? …

WEEK ONE PREDICTION: Kansas 35, McNeese State 14.

How to treat a girl, take four: The little things

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Coffee. Part of the morning routine. It’s the first thing I do once I get out of the shower. I know what you’re thinking. No shit. That’s part of everybody’s morning routine.

I don’t drink coffee. Never have and probably never will, unless you count the rare frappuccino, which is essentially dessert in a cup. Not exactly part of a nutritious breakfast.

So why do I make coffee? Because Shana drinks it. Just an example of one of the little things that really matter. Some other little things that matter? …

PREPARE TO PAY

Guys, expect to pay. No getting around it. If you’re pursuing the girl, you should pay for the dates. That doesn’t mean you have to eat at five-star restaurants or spend a ton of money. It simply means you should reach for, and expect to, cover the check.

On the other hand, it doesn’t mean you should ask your date to order off the kids menu at McDonald’s. Try something like that, and I guarantee your chances at taking the next step, including any sort of physical attention, are history.

A lot of guys are going to read those last two paragraphs and say it’s bullshit and unfair. As my father has said for years, life is unfair.

But, here’s the rub. Once you’ve wooed the girl, you’re going to find that they’ll start picking up the check. Or maybe I’m just one lucky bastard. Shana does pick up a lot of the tabs. Her philosophy is that’s the way it should be once you’re in a relationship. That’s a very mature way to look at it. It probably helps that she’s treated quite well.

PICK-ME UPS

Something I’ve learned in the last several months is that women’s signals are not as difficult to pick up on as we men would like to make them out to be. It’s really just a matter of paying attention. By listening and paying attention, you’ll start to get it. And if you understand what’s wrong, there’s probably something you can do to help.

The girlfriend has had a few bad days at work. You’d be amazed what sending flowers can do for them, and what that does for you and your relationship in return. And it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.

Earlier this week, she clearly was having a blah day at work. During a trip to Target for a few groceries, I spotted a pair of earrings I thought she’d like. They cost $8. She wore them today to work … to brag to her co-workers. She’s still wearing them at 9:30 p.m. because “I just want to keep wearing them because that was so sweet.”

LEARN TO DANCE

Dancing is intimidating. A lot of guys refuse to. I know damn well I can’t dance all that well. So, I asked Shana to show me how. She’s a former drill team captain and knows a little bit about the subject.

But I know she appreciated that I was willing to swallow my pride, ask her to teach me and try. We’ve had one lesson so far, and she’s an awesome teacher. Apparently, with a little help, you don’t have to look like Kevin James in Hitch.

The little things are important. They lead to big things. Trust me.

I’m into fitness, take five: The rewards

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Why do you want to lose weight? Duh, I want to look good. Probably the most common answer to that question. It’s not a wrong answer, but it’s not the best answer. The No. 1 reason for losing weight should be being more healthy.

But that’s not how we roll these days. Women want to look like Beyonce, who’s 5-foot-9 and 135 pounds, or Lady Gaga (5-1, 95 pounds, yes, 95 freaking pounds). Men want to look like a professional athlete.

As Andre Agassi said over and over and over, image is everything. We live in a society obsessed with models who weigh 73 pounds and eat three pieces of lettuce and a crouton for every meal. Such is life. I prefer a few curves and a girl who can scarf down a huge plate of barbecue (nod to the girlfriend), but that’s another blog for another day.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look better. It’s a great goal. But the best way to reach that goal is to focus on being healthier. That’s how you change your lifestyle. Otherwise, you’ll work your ass off for a few months to reach your goals, then it’s back to that double cheeseburger at McDonald’s, with a side of coronary artery disease.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, make no mistake about fitness, it is hard work. There are no shortcuts, magic pills or programs that are going to transform your body overnight.

The beauty of getting fit is the rewards that come with it …

YES, YOU’LL LOOK BETTER …

Before: At a little more than 300 pounds at the beginning of 2010.

After: At 220 pounds on Aug. 27, 2011.

Getting noticed more, better clothes, bigger muscles, hell, bigger smile … it’s all going to be there. Be prepared to spend a ton of money on clothes. I’m on my third or fourth wardrobe in the last 18 months. But that’s a great problem to have.

YOU’LL FEEL BETTER …

Before I started all of this, my time away from work was spent watching TV, surfing facebook for hours – in general, doing nothing. When you start working out, eating better and getting into better shape, you’ll notice your body changing.

For example, on Saturday, I spent five hours cutting a ton of wood with my father. I might have been able to cut down a small tree a few years ago. Saturday, we cut several ricks of wood …

The tree dad and I finished off over the weekend. The equivalent of eight to 10 medium-sized trees.

An hour after cutting that massive tree down, I was hauling a rick up two flights of stairs to our apartment, sweeping said stairs and finishing a few loads of laundry. It really is amazing how much energy you’ll have once you settle into a routine.

CONFIDENCE …

Obviously, this comes with looking better. You’ll just feel better about yourself. Your smile will be bigger, you’ll walk with more of a strut (hopefully not like John Travolta at the end of Stayin’ Alive) and you won’t lower your shoulders.

A big part of the confidence will come from your support system, whether it’s a significant other, friends, co-workers and/or family. Social networking sites, like facebook, can also be inspirational. You’ll find that there are A LOT of people in the same boat as you. And nothing will fuel your desire to keep busting your ass like compliments and words of support from people around you.

In the past week alone, my awesome girlfriend, her mom, my father and my nephew, who’s only 12, have said something about my weight loss. It’s a wonderful feeling.

MILESTONES …

I hit one Saturday. For the first time since 2002, I hit the scale at 220 pounds. That’s 40 pounds shy of my goal weight. A little more than 80 pounds lost. This is what keeps me going, seeing those numbers drop from week to week.

It’s important to understand that those numbers are not going to drop dramatically from week to week. A couple of pounds a week is pretty damn good progress. That adds up to nearly 10 pounds a month. That is awesome work, so don’t be obsessed with the scale. Understand that it’s going to take time.

When you’ve reacher your goal, you’ll be much healthier … and you might look like Beyonce.

Two cars, two new batteries, one couple, one day: You’ve got to be %$#@ing kidding!

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Me super excited about repairing the second car of the day.

“Come on, you #@A%*$# … this is really starting to #$&#ing piss me off!”

The woman walking into O’Reilly Auto Parts looked at me as if she’d seen my mug on “America’s Most Wanted.” Of course, I didn’t realize she was there. I was just trying to fix the girlfriend’s 2003 Mitsubishi Shitbox. Such is my life with vehicles.

One couple. Two cars. Two replaced batteries. On the same day. You’ve got to be kidding me! The odds of that have to be a billion to one. Then again, the odds of me actually fixing said cars without destroying something are about 100 trillion to one.

This all started Thursday night. First, the Kansas Turnpike tested my patience with that 20-minutes-per-mile stretch between markers 207 and 211. I’ve yet to see a construction worker on this stretch.  Seems like you might need a body or two to repave a highway.

To top it off, somebody at the KTA thought it clever to post signs like this …

"We know it's a pain with only one lane." Cute. Very cute.

Who thinks this is a good idea? Tease pissed-off people — seated in two-ton vehicles – whose trips to their salvation (home) are being delayed by unnecessary road construction. I can only assume the KTA’s marketing team consists of Nipsy Russell (or at least the ghost of Nipsy Russell) and the geniuses who put together this campaign …

Twenty-seven hours later, I’m close to my exit for home, minutes from bliss. The Shana calls … can you come jump-start my car? No big deal. We get her car started and head home, her kids in tow. Once home, however, she discovers the car won’t start again.

Instead of doing what I should have done (buy a battery that night), I opt for dinner and bed (and blogging about wooing said Shana) and plan to fix the car Friday morning.

Now, Shana gets up insanely early to prep the kids. We’re talking 5 a.m. Her alarm would only be more annoying if Chuck Norris jumped out of the clock and roundhouse kicked you in the face.

To make matters worse, she’s not getting up to shut the damn thing off. As she documents here on her blog, she’s forgotten she has kids and thinks the alarm is set for me. I mutter, “Shouldn’t you get that … you have the kids today.” (While she’s thinking, no, asshole, that’s your alarm, I’m thinking get off your lazy ass and turn that bitch off).

Because I don’t trust her car, I volunteer to drive the Shitbox to work and let her drive my equally awesome Chevy Impala Shitbox. About 30 minutes later, as I’m pulling in for gas, the Mishitbisi dies (:08 mark) …

One good thing about KTA is their roadside assistance. It’s free. They jump-started the car. That’s the only bone I’m throwing KTA today. I decided at this point that I’m going to take care of Shana’s car. I’d rather not break down at every stop light in Topeka. I’m funny that way.

I managed to get to O’Reilly’s, get the battery tested (“It’s dead” … no shit). In the midst of yanking the old battery out and putting the new one in, a bolt decides it simply doesn’t want to come off. As some of you know, the Webbs have legit tempers. Hard not to when you’re Irish, German and Cherokee. With maturity, that has improved drastically. It takes A LOT to ignite the fuse these days …

Once the rant was over, I managed to get the new battery in the car and headed for work … until Shana calls again. This time, she’s walking, yes, walking, Molly to school. That’s right, MY Shitbox wouldn’t start after she dropped Brody off at school. All I could really do was laugh. So much for work, and I HATE missing work.

Back to Kansas City, past the Nipsy Russell signs, praying that Shana’s Shitbox doesn’t break down again. An hour later, I arrive to fix my Shitbox. The funny thing is, Shana and I are smiling, not taking things too seriously. Such is life these days …

Shana and I in St. Louis during July.

Fortunately, the Shitbox starts right up and we head home. I managed to get some work done and spend some time with Shana, who had the day off, before taking my POS to the auto parts store for testing. Sure enough, 12.8 volts on the battery. It’s supposed to be over 14 …

Two batteries, two cars, same couple, one day. How does that happen? Nonetheless, I buy another battery and return home to swap out the 1947 model in my car. During the installation, it appears Dr. Zhivago designed the engine. Who in the hell makes it difficult to get a battery out of car?

A shade under a decade later, the battery is in place, both cars are running … and it’s time for me to run three miles and work out. Such is life. And it’s still a pretty damn good one.

How to treat the ladies, take three: Believe

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“You can’t love somebody until you love yourself.” I don’t know who said this, but it’s genius. And absolutely true. And, no, this is not what “love yourself” means …

Of course, if that’s what it meant, nobody would have a problem with love. Anywho …

It’s the absolute truth. You might love somebody, but you are not going to love them like you should if you don’t think you rock. It’s just that simple (and you can think you rock without being a conceited piece of crap) …

Part of loving yourself is having confidence. Take it from somebody who did not have much pre-Shana. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Shana had to ask me three times before I finally realized she was asking. That was due to a lack of confidence. Pretty much thought my chances were …

Then something awesome happened. Once we spent some time together, I realized I had plenty to offer. Out went the old, doubting, negative guy, in came the new, confident, positive man. That hasn’t changed. You’ve also heard that women think confidence is sexy. Absolutely true.

Jack nails it here, starting at the one-minute mark …

Joe Pesci, too, in this underrated 1990s flick …

To sum it up: If you’re lucky enough to find an amazing woman who’s clearly into you … stop doubting yourself. You got “it.” By it, I mean that quality. No need to question it.

Of course, your “work” isn’t complete. If she’s great enough to make you Superman, you’ve got to treat her like Wonder Woman. A few more tips …

MAKE HER LAUGH

Muscles, good looks, money … that’s great, but if you can’t make her laugh, forget about it. And how do you do that? Hope your sense of humor is good. Oh, and don’t try too hard. Just doesn’t work. You’re either funny, or you’re not.

NOTES

Not that I’ve researched this, but I bet the majority of women save notes and letters from their significant others. It could be a short poem or song lyrics, even just an “I love you.” A quick, sweet note before work sets the tone for her day …

COOKING

Not toast, and not TV dinners. There are plenty of quick meals you can cook, and trust me, she’ll appreciate the hell out of it.

I’m into fitness, take four: Cheating vs. treating

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Miserable. That’s a common misconception about giving up dairy. That you can’t eat anything you like. And because you can’t eat anything you like, you’re miserable and this happens …

It’s really not that bad. After a few weeks, you’ll notice that not eating that garbage becomes a habit. Everybody has cravings. But there’s a difference between cheating and treating.

Cheating is when you drive to Taco Bell, order everything on the menu and indulge in a preservative-powered coma (and, no, I have not tried that) …

Treating is rewarding yourself, within reason, for kicking ass in a lifestyle change. After running nearly 100 miles, lifting weights for 20 hours and racking up 10,000 situps a month, I’m sure as hell going to reward myself.

No, it’s not going to be dairy. That’s a waste of at least one workout. Here are a few things I treat myself to …

At 180 calories, but organic with real sugar. Nonetheless, it's a treat, not an anchor of your consumption.

Yes, the occasional soda. And by occasional, I mean once every week or two.  And, no, bitch, you can’t have any of my cherry limeade.

Less than 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar

Bomb pops. Mmmm. Actually, we get the Always Save brand blast-off pops. Same thing. And they’re only got 40 calories and eight grams of sugar per bomb pop.

INTAKE AND OUTPUT

MONDAY INTAKE

7:30 a.m.: Banana, bottle of water; 10 a.m.: Banana and tortilla chips; 2:15 p.m.:  Chicken enchilada, tortilla chips, water; 10 p.m.: Organic fake “chicken” patty sandwich, water.

MONDAY OUTPUT

Three-mile run, 30 minutes weights

TUESDAY INPUT

6:30 a.m.: Sausage (two links), toast, water; 10 a.m.: Banana; 11:15 a.m.: Chicken enchilada, tortilla chips; 7 p.m.: Salad (Greens, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, eggs, fake chicken), tater tots, fizzle drink, water, tofutti cutie.

TUESDAY OUTPUT

2.5-mile run (fastest mile splits since 2001), 450 situps

WEDNESDAY INPUT

6:30 a.m.: Sausage (two links), toast, tea; 1 p.m.: Banana, water; 4 p.m.: Tea; 8 p.m.: Chipotle 14-pound burrito (about 3/4 of one of their huge-ass burritos with barbacoa, rice, black beans, veggies, salsa, corn and guac), tea.

WEDNESDAY OUTPUT

2.5-mile run (fastest splits since Tuesday!), 30 minutes lifting weights, 250 situps (speed workout)

How to treat a girl, take two

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I snicker every time I sit down to write one of these, mainly because to attach my words to expertise on this subject seems a little silly. I’m leaning more toward believing a lot of guys are just dumb. Anyway, here a few more tips (that’s what she said):

THE DOORS … OPEN THEM

Chivalry’s not dead, but apparently it’s on life support. At least that’s the impression I got when I opened every door (well, except to the bathroom. That’d be wrong on many levels) for Shana. The first month or so it seemed like she’d never had a door opened for her. Seven months later, she waits at the door, knowing I’ll open it (pretty cute, really).

FLOWERS

My favorite scene from “Stranger than fiction.” Shana had told me a few times before watching it that Will Ferrell character was like me in that he’s “really sweet, your kind of sweet.” When he delivered Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character – a baker – a box of flours, I knew what she meant.

Anyway, women LOVE flowers. It doesn’t have to be all the time. And you should NOT do it just because you screwed up or feel like you have to. They’ll see right past that crap.

Oh, and send them to work. That way they get to brag.

DATES

Not actually going on them, but remembering them. I know it’s insanely dorky, but I keep a running total of the number of days since we started dating in my head. That way I can say “happy 227 days.” As I said in the last blog, that won’t work for every girl. Some would find it silly. Again, trust your instinct.

Obviously, you should remember anniversaries, birthdays and Valentine’s Day. That takes little effort. If you don’t, that’s a …

CARRY THEM

There’s something about scooping a lady up and taking her to bed. One of my favorite things is picking up Shana after she’s fallen asleep on the couch and carrying her to bed. They’ve also led to some hilarious moments, like ramming her elbow into the laundry door or laying her on the bed and hearing, “I have to take my makeup off anyway.” My response, “Well, hell, if I’d known that I wouldn’t have carried your ass in here!” Romantic? Actually, yes, because it was funny.