Freaking Out in Our 40s, by the Last Unbotoxed Woman on Earth

I have friends in their 40s like me, then there are the younger set, and I see a difference. Let’s begin with social media.

“Someone mistook me for 21 today!!!” posted a 43 year old acquaintance. Braggadocio earned her 140 likes in under 120 minutes. Comments from others followed about being mistaken for much (!) younger. Facebook feeds our narcissistic desires and I personally “like” that. It works to my benefit, especially since I have an otherwise overlooked summer birthday. My friends in their 30s post about John Hamm, Netflix or naptime between baby feedings. Those who post about work – Well, I probably don’t pay attention – but they rarely have happy endings.

Anyway, the response to the 43 year old swiftly becomes a manic flurry of “me too”s, with nary a 30 or 20something chiming in. I am candid with myself and I know we are all going through some sort of “life crisis.” With options in the modern world like lunchtime surgical nips, fillers and great makeup (contouring!), as well as books by scholars the likes of Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba…we feel minor assurance. We have little stories we tell ourselves. I sit and sip my green tea hoping it will negate yesterday’s aspartame-infested diet coke and New Amsterdam peach flavored vodka, but I already foresee the name of my future sitcom: “The Last Unbotoxed Woman on Earth.” The plan for now is to age naturally. As my sister in law stated so eloquently: “Wrinkles are beautiful. They show you’ve aged.”

I just saw Raquel Welch on the telly (being a woman of a certain age means I can affect a British accent when I choose, just ask Madonna). The woman is absolutely gorgeous, and, we can all agree: “well preserved.” The reality is that not many of us can afford the good kind of plastic surgery, and the bad kind is too readily available. Let’s not enumerate, but we can agree that the very rich have fallen prey to hideous work. Forget face lifts; it is also quite expensive to seek out options such as lipo, lasers and lights. It is never a one-time deal from what I have surmised. Maintenance is required. I have met a few plastic surgeons and they will compliment you and flirt away (See: the E! network’s smarmy Dr. Robert Rey), but they will never simply let you say “I’m fine with my appearance.” They have a suggestion for anyone and everyone. This, in my opinion, is the reason for “fake boobs” among the gorgeous of L.A. and Beverly Hills. You can’t mess with perfection, but oh, you can if you are a plastic surgeon because perfection does not exist. (I happen to think little breasts are perfect for running and just generally not getting in one’s way, but that’s just me.)

But back to the real people, the ones who aren’t on Bravo. There is no end to the amount of cups you can fill from the alleged fountain of youth. Hearing about the miracle and attached lore of a broth one man formulated to heal his problematic skin, I am in Bloomingdales searching. The price tag for this broth which is now a cream that is eerily scented (fragrances in a miracle broth for the most sensitive of skins?!) and has the feel and consistency of pediatric staple Eucerin, is exorbitant. Two ounces retail for over 300 dollars. I timidly ask if I can try a sample. They are out of samples, how fortuitous (!), but I know I can hit up Amazon and spend 10 dollars for one, yes pay a small price for the samples that are given out free. Another customer joins me at the counter. She is fully covered from head to toe, face veiled in an abaya, a Muslim traditional garment that is the best SPF money can buy. I try to make out her eyes’ reaction to the insane price. She takes out a 100 dollar bill followed by two more and I know she’s for real. The saleslady makes an inappropriate comment about what terrific skin she must have under there, that it’s a shame she’s all covered up. Racist! I ask my new friend, the abaya-clad customer at the counter, if the miracle broth is worth the mula. She says she swears by it.

The saleslady takes the opportunity to digest my fully uncovered face and examine the pores rather laboriously. “You, my dear, cannot use the cream, you need the gel. You are acne-prone skin!” she announces. I try to explain that I’m 41 and so I am focused on anti-aging too. I say I’m a tad worried the gel won’t address the moisturizing I might need, now that I am getting up there in the years. “Rubbish!” she might as well have said, though she was more Brooklyn than British. She dismissed me with a wave to the Clinique counter. You see, we are all being dismissed, my dear 40somethings, as going through some sort of silly stage akin to a midlife crisis and not really understanding what we need to do for ourselves.

I also realize it is not only skin deep. We are reading all sorts of ludicrous books on feminism that we may never have picked up 15 years ago (for me, it’s Fear of Flying.. I’m not knocking Ms. Jong, but I would not have appreciated it in my 30s). We are determining our identities and one step further and more subconsciously, our legacies.

The “stage” you are at now, if you’re halfway to your 80s, is suddenly under self-scrutiny. Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Have I written the great American novel yet, the one I was supposed to publish at 25? Yeah, that last one is MY depressing admission. These are all minor aspirations for those faced with greater challenges. Perspective changes in the face of overcoming illness, abuse or worse. How you process the deeper resolutions of making your life great and seizing the day may be altered by a Xanax in the short run, but you’ll later cry in the shower wondering why you can’t connect with your emotions. You will realize it is to your benefit to feel!

For some reason, my friends in their 50s seem to be over the more massive hump. Those initial grays, age spots and wrinkles are so yesterday. They’re busy traveling and posting pictures of bowling nights out with fabulous folks. But I know they must have their fair share of complaints that I’m not hearing –Still, I feel they’ve shifted priorities. They’re busy commenting on Kosovo, not on the Kardashians. There’s less pressure to impress when they leave the house, having finished the New York Times crossword puzzle (will I be smarter in my 50s too? I hope so!), clad in stylish yet supportive sneakers, hair scrunched in a bun with minimal makeup. Unlike 40somethings, these woman have known each other for a long time and even when they haven’t, they seem to be candid and not self-conscious. When they trade stories about their spouses or dates, the candor need not be candy-coated or apologetic. The air is filled with understanding, cynicism is a part of their regular humor, not a set-in-stone gossip- garnering sign of learned helplessness.

The above is all based solely on observation and what it looks like from inside of 41, looking out. So I ask that you take it all with a grain of salt – or a strand of salt and pepper hair. Turning 40 signified numerous changes for me personally. I’ve stopped caring more than half as much about what others think (while admitting I have a way to go. You don’t know my starting point, in fairness), I definitely take more fashion risks (wide brimmed hats, bright red lipstick), I focus on the time I’m spending with my kids in the suburbs and not the fact that I haven’t been in the city partying freely and unencumbered with friends in eons. My friendships are based on who I bond with best, whether they be 27 or 55. Age is just a number after all. We can have similar life experiences as someone a decade younger or a decade older.

However, I recently reflected that at age 41, I have no friends who are 21. I’m just not sure we would have ample common ground. Beyond taking selfies (which Wendy Williams says we may be a little old for past 40), a friendship with someone half my age would likely begin with a flip of radio stations and end there: Justin Bieber is on the radio? Hmm. Did you know that according to Wikipedia, the singer’s mother was born in April of 1975? I was born in July of 1974. Chelsea Handler recently admitted that she felt like a pedophile interviewing Justin Bieber because it’s part of his shtick to flirt with his interviewer. Chelsea Handler is a full year younger than I am. So putting these random little puzzle pieces together, it is more logical that I could be Justin Bieber’s mother than that Chelsea Handler or Justin’s very own mother could.That is disconcerting. If I think too hard about what it means to be in my 40s, I will forget about beautiful glowing JLO, or my friend Brian who looks like a teenager but is a highly sought out international headache specialist at a mere 41. And I can’t forget the human rights activists, the novelists (damn them!), the filmmakers and the people who are living their dreams – and mine!

What it boils down to is that a “crisis” affects those of us who have not yet grabbed the bull by the horns. Some of us are unsure how to, or we feel stuck, but we also feel an urgency to carpe diem. We are not getting any younger. So if you are in your 30s or 20s and wondering why so many “older” people are posting selfies or sharing pictures of their massive hike to the apex of Kilimanjaro, try to be understanding. We are still living, somewhere between young and old, somewhere maybe prior to, or just post, mid-life, and we fear irrelevance. No one gets out of this crazy world alive, but we’re all here now to make an impact. The greatest fear, in fact, is not actually death since we know death is an inevitability to life. The greatest fear is going through life without making a mark, or leaving a legacy, without diving off a few planes high in the sky, without making someone gasp or smile for a lengthy period. Our 40s may be our last decade to let loose and go wild while our God-given knees and hips are still in-tact. So excuse us if we make absolute asses of ourselves in order to live each day to its fullest and rejoice, but it seems like the perfect time.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Record Missouri flooding was humanmade calamity, scientist says

Why was the New Year’s flood in Missouri so bad? Most news reports blamed it on the heavy rain, but a professor of earth and planetary sciences says analysis of the flood data shows much of the damage was due to recent modifications to the river.

How the Rich Are Different From Other People

2016-02-04-1454624693-4894099-Gatsby.jpg

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles on this subject, and I am amazed that anyone at all feels the need to itemize, explain, elucidate and otherwise point out how rich people are different from people who are not rich. For one thing, and it seems rather obvious, rich people have more money. This is usually evident in the following ways:

-Transportation

-Footwear

-Space tourism

I couldn’t help but notice there is a dearth of reading material entitled, “How the Poor Are Different from Other People.” I think that is because far more people associate themselves with being poor than consider themselves rich, and if you’re looking at the other side of the tracks you want to at least see a Maybach parked in the driveway, or the Christian Louboutin deliveryman offloading boxes of red-soled stilettoes at the back door.

No one is clamoring to hear how difficult it is to make ends meet–pay the rent or mortgage, finance the kid’s braces, or set money aside for college, weddings or the family vacay to Wally World. And to be honest, these are not really the concerns of “the poor.”

The poor have much smaller fish to fry, if they have anything to eat at all. When you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, whether you will have a roof over your head next month, or you rely on charity for winter shoes without holes in the soles, then the idea that the rich live differently from “the rest of us” takes on less significance than the possibility of life on Mars. It’s the here and now – right here, right now–that commands your full attention just so you might survive another day.

I’ll admit there’s a certain appeal in comparing myself–my “poor” self, to someone who is rich–rich by popular culture/reality TV standards. But when I feel a twinge of longing for a stadium-sized closet filled with designer clothes and accessories, a seat on a Gulfstream G650, or to own a private island, I experience a slightly stronger pang of guilt over the fact that I must force myself to feel hungry on occasion in an effort to lose belly fat, and even then I usually give up and tuck into a fully stocked pantry for some abundantly satisfying snack, such as Popchips sea salt potato chips or Trader Joe’s organic popcorn with olive oil. I’m fairly certain actual poor people do not have pantries.

We’ve all heard about trophy wife bonuses, safe rooms, mega super yachts and the hunting of endangered animals, but to a lot of people, buying a Starbucks latte might as well be a $180,000,000 Picasso. Perspective is everything. A person needs a glass before they can answer whether theirs is half empty or half full.

US Weekly has a section devoted to the similarities between the rich and famous, and you and me; Stars! They’re Just Like Us!

“They Share Gum! Courtside!!!”

Perhaps Channing Tatum and his wifey can afford $2500-$7000 each for courtside Lakers tickets, or maybe they were a gift. Either way, most people can’t spend in excess of $5,000 on date night ($6,000 if you count nachos and beer at the Staples Center).

Just like us? Not. So. Much.

As one would expect, I have a theory about our cultural desire to compare the way we fare to how “the other half” lives, which everyone knows is actually 49% less than an actual half. We can’t bear the thought of so many people having less than what they need to survive that we numb ourselves to the inequities by pretending we are hard-done-by ourselves. If having a $35,000 Birkin bag means a person is rich, than by comparison I am poor, and if I am poor, with my pantry and warm bed and winter boots, then poor people are doing just fine. But in our heart of hearts, no amount of Botox, Birkin or Beverly Hills is going to convince us that’s true.

Maybe once a month, instead of buying a $5 magazine that tells us how similar we are to the rich and famous, we could drop a few bucks into the poor box at church, or at Goodwill, Purple Heart or the local food pantry, and try to soften the line between us, and the truly less fortunate. CharityWatch.Org

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

How the Rich Are Different From Other People

2016-02-04-1454624693-4894099-Gatsby.jpg

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles on this subject, and I am amazed that anyone at all feels the need to itemize, explain, elucidate and otherwise point out how rich people are different from people who are not rich. For one thing, and it seems rather obvious, rich people have more money. This is usually evident in the following ways:

-Transportation

-Footwear

-Space tourism

I couldn’t help but notice there is a dearth of reading material entitled, “How the Poor Are Different from Other People.” I think that is because far more people associate themselves with being poor than consider themselves rich, and if you’re looking at the other side of the tracks you want to at least see a Maybach parked in the driveway, or the Christian Louboutin deliveryman offloading boxes of red-soled stilettoes at the back door.

No one is clamoring to hear how difficult it is to make ends meet–pay the rent or mortgage, finance the kid’s braces, or set money aside for college, weddings or the family vacay to Wally World. And to be honest, these are not really the concerns of “the poor.”

The poor have much smaller fish to fry, if they have anything to eat at all. When you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, whether you will have a roof over your head next month, or you rely on charity for winter shoes without holes in the soles, then the idea that the rich live differently from “the rest of us” takes on less significance than the possibility of life on Mars. It’s the here and now – right here, right now–that commands your full attention just so you might survive another day.

I’ll admit there’s a certain appeal in comparing myself–my “poor” self, to someone who is rich–rich by popular culture/reality TV standards. But when I feel a twinge of longing for a stadium-sized closet filled with designer clothes and accessories, a seat on a Gulfstream G650, or to own a private island, I experience a slightly stronger pang of guilt over the fact that I must force myself to feel hungry on occasion in an effort to lose belly fat, and even then I usually give up and tuck into a fully stocked pantry for some abundantly satisfying snack, such as Popchips sea salt potato chips or Trader Joe’s organic popcorn with olive oil. I’m fairly certain actual poor people do not have pantries.

We’ve all heard about trophy wife bonuses, safe rooms, mega super yachts and the hunting of endangered animals, but to a lot of people, buying a Starbucks latte might as well be a $180,000,000 Picasso. Perspective is everything. A person needs a glass before they can answer whether theirs is half empty or half full.

US Weekly has a section devoted to the similarities between the rich and famous, and you and me; Stars! They’re Just Like Us!

“They Share Gum! Courtside!!!”

Perhaps Channing Tatum and his wifey can afford $2500-$7000 each for courtside Lakers tickets, or maybe they were a gift. Either way, most people can’t spend in excess of $5,000 on date night ($6,000 if you count nachos and beer at the Staples Center).

Just like us? Not. So. Much.

As one would expect, I have a theory about our cultural desire to compare the way we fare to how “the other half” lives, which everyone knows is actually 49% less than an actual half. We can’t bear the thought of so many people having less than what they need to survive that we numb ourselves to the inequities by pretending we are hard-done-by ourselves. If having a $35,000 Birkin bag means a person is rich, than by comparison I am poor, and if I am poor, with my pantry and warm bed and winter boots, then poor people are doing just fine. But in our heart of hearts, no amount of Botox, Birkin or Beverly Hills is going to convince us that’s true.

Maybe once a month, instead of buying a $5 magazine that tells us how similar we are to the rich and famous, we could drop a few bucks into the poor box at church, or at Goodwill, Purple Heart or the local food pantry, and try to soften the line between us, and the truly less fortunate. CharityWatch.Org

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 Reasons To Watch The Puppy Bowl Instead Of The Super Bowl

An estimated 189 million people will tune into Super Bowl 50 this Sunday. While the event’s a great excuse to get together and eat all of the food, a whole other tradition may help you and your friends fare better when it comes to happiness and health.

This year, trade in the pigskin for some puppy fur. No, not in a sadistic way — we’re just saying you should be watching the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. Sunday instead of the Super Bowl. You’ll reap all of the benefits of a social activity without any of the bad stuff that taints the other big game.

Need a little convincing? Below, we’ve outlined 12 reasons why watching the Puppy Bowl is the right thing to do:

1. You’ll feel instant happiness.

Spending time with animals is shown to boost human’s happiness and health, and just petting a furry friend can reduce stress levels. Even if you don’t have a pooch to cuddle up to, just looking at cute animals can improve your mood and even better your focus. The Puppy Bowl is obviously the next best thing to having a pet at home.

2. You’ll have more time for healthier activities.

You’ll need two hours to watch the Puppy Bowl in its entirety. The Super Bowl, on the other hand, will have you glued to the tube for about four hours. All of that sitting (and that many hours of constant snacking) isn’t good for your body or your brain. Why not play fetch outside with your dog instead?

3. You’ll be able to go to bed on time.

The average Super Bowl game ends around 10:15 p.m. eastern time (not counting the post-game coverage), likely forcing you to start your pre-bedtime rituals later in the night and stealing away extra sleep before you start the work week. That could throw off your whole week. There’s no late night with the Puppy Bowl, which ends at a solid 5 p.m. EST.

4. You won’t be cheering on injuries or concussions.

Tail wags, squeaky barks and, fine, a little nibbling are the only risk factors here.

5. You and your friends will be on the same team.

Team Dog.

6. You can adopt a player.

Animal Planet coordinated with more than 40 animal shelters and rescue organizations across the country to make up this year’s two Puppy Bowl teams. So in essence, you’re making the world a better place by watching this beloved “sporting” event (and, bonus, research shows you’re also boosting your own well-being through such an act of kindness). Could you say the same for football?

7. And you can still catch Beyonce.

As mentioned above, the Puppy Bowl will be over in time for the Super Bowl halftime show (and isn’t that the best part of the Super Bowl, anyway?). Studies show that listening to upbeat music can put you in a happier mood, so combine halftime with the joyful boost you’ll get from the puppies and you’ll really be peppy. Also, Beyoncé.

8. You can pun up a storm without judgment.

Line barkers? Rufferee!? What a gas! Puns are inherently hilarious, and laughter is proven to decrease those pesky stress hormones and can even boost your immune system, keeping you healthy all winter long.

9. A bird is covering the event.

Hope there is no FOWL play during #PuppyBowl. Get it, @TheGeicoGecko? Cuz I’m a bird… #PunFun

— meepthebird (@meepthebird) February 3, 2016

@Meepthebird is the official live-tweeter of the pawsome show. Can’t say any human sports announcer has ever been as entertaining as this little fella.

10. You might avoid the flu.

Seriously. A recent study found that Super Bowl parties up the likelihood that you’ll catch the flu. It’s not surprising if you think about it: Mass amounts of people, communal bowls of chips, and lots of drinking. Pass. We’re not saying not to serve snacks at your Puppy Bowl viewing, but chances are you’ll be too distracted by the cuteness to share as many germs.

11. All of the players are guaranteed eye candy.

Um, just look at that face.

12. You might reduce your chances for heart attack.

Research shows that die-hard sports fans are at higher risk for heart attack. Unless you’re an aggressively staunch supporter of Wrinkles the shar-pei and have an emotional investment in his success on the field, you likely won’t have a health issue watching the Puppy Bowl.

The bottom line?

Football may be America’s pastime, but you certainly can’t beat a man’s best friend.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 Reasons To Watch The Puppy Bowl Instead Of The Super Bowl

An estimated 189 million people will tune into Super Bowl 50 this Sunday. While the event’s a great excuse to get together and eat all of the food, a whole other tradition may help you and your friends fare better when it comes to happiness and health.

This year, trade in the pigskin for some puppy fur. No, not in a sadistic way — we’re just saying you should be watching the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. Sunday instead of the Super Bowl. You’ll reap all of the benefits of a social activity without any of the bad stuff that taints the other big game.

Need a little convincing? Below, we’ve outlined 12 reasons why watching the Puppy Bowl is the right thing to do:

1. You’ll feel instant happiness.

Spending time with animals is shown to boost human’s happiness and health, and just petting a furry friend can reduce stress levels. Even if you don’t have a pooch to cuddle up to, just looking at cute animals can improve your mood and even better your focus. The Puppy Bowl is obviously the next best thing to having a pet at home.

2. You’ll have more time for healthier activities.

You’ll need two hours to watch the Puppy Bowl in its entirety. The Super Bowl, on the other hand, will have you glued to the tube for about four hours. All of that sitting (and that many hours of constant snacking) isn’t good for your body or your brain. Why not play fetch outside with your dog instead?

3. You’ll be able to go to bed on time.

The average Super Bowl game ends around 10:15 p.m. eastern time (not counting the post-game coverage), likely forcing you to start your pre-bedtime rituals later in the night and stealing away extra sleep before you start the work week. That could throw off your whole week. There’s no late night with the Puppy Bowl, which ends at a solid 5 p.m. EST.

4. You won’t be cheering on injuries or concussions.

Tail wags, squeaky barks and, fine, a little nibbling are the only risk factors here.

5. You and your friends will be on the same team.

Team Dog.

6. You can adopt a player.

Animal Planet coordinated with more than 40 animal shelters and rescue organizations across the country to make up this year’s two Puppy Bowl teams. So in essence, you’re making the world a better place by watching this beloved “sporting” event (and, bonus, research shows you’re also boosting your own well-being through such an act of kindness). Could you say the same for football?

7. And you can still catch Beyonce.

As mentioned above, the Puppy Bowl will be over in time for the Super Bowl halftime show (and isn’t that the best part of the Super Bowl, anyway?). Studies show that listening to upbeat music can put you in a happier mood, so combine halftime with the joyful boost you’ll get from the puppies and you’ll really be peppy. Also, Beyoncé.

8. You can pun up a storm without judgment.

Line barkers? Rufferee!? What a gas! Puns are inherently hilarious, and laughter is proven to decrease those pesky stress hormones and can even boost your immune system, keeping you healthy all winter long.

9. A bird is covering the event.

Hope there is no FOWL play during #PuppyBowl. Get it, @TheGeicoGecko? Cuz I’m a bird… #PunFun

— meepthebird (@meepthebird) February 3, 2016

@Meepthebird is the official live-tweeter of the pawsome show. Can’t say any human sports announcer has ever been as entertaining as this little fella.

10. You might avoid the flu.

Seriously. A recent study found that Super Bowl parties up the likelihood that you’ll catch the flu. It’s not surprising if you think about it: Mass amounts of people, communal bowls of chips, and lots of drinking. Pass. We’re not saying not to serve snacks at your Puppy Bowl viewing, but chances are you’ll be too distracted by the cuteness to share as many germs.

11. All of the players are guaranteed eye candy.

Um, just look at that face.

12. You might reduce your chances for heart attack.

Research shows that die-hard sports fans are at higher risk for heart attack. Unless you’re an aggressively staunch supporter of Wrinkles the shar-pei and have an emotional investment in his success on the field, you likely won’t have a health issue watching the Puppy Bowl.

The bottom line?

Football may be America’s pastime, but you certainly can’t beat a man’s best friend.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

I’m With Stupid: Reviewing Important Stuff at the SIA Snow Show

I got to do something fun last weekend when I attended the SnowSports Industries America Snow Show at the massive Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The annual event brings together all the biggest names in the worlds of skiing and snowboarding, but until this year it was sorely lacking in one critical element, namely me.

Sure, you might think the attendance of a snarky humor columnist isn’t exactly necessary for a trade show, but everything can benefit from an injection of stupid, and I’m just the guy to supply it.

The main room, which seemed to be about the size of three or four football fields, was dominated by huge booths showing off the latest gear and apparel from household names like Salomon, Rossignol, K2 and Patagonia. There also were booths for Roaring Fork Valley favorites like Sport Obermeyer, Strafe Outerwear, Meier Skis and Kastle Ski (which is co-owned by Aspen legend Chris Davenport).

However, since those guys and the other brand-name companies seem to be doing just fine without my help — and because there’s nothing inherently stupid about skis, snowboards and outerwear — I decided to eschew the big boys and focus my attention on the companies and products that are a little less mainstream and a little more suited to my particular milieu. So, naturally, I started with underwear.

I might not have started with underwear, but then I saw a booth for a company called MyPakage, which claims it makes the world’s best boxer shorts, and I thought it was such a great name that I had to go check it out. Just down the row from MyPakage was a more subtly named company called Saxx that makes, in its words, “life-changing underwear,” and when I asked how underwear could change someone’s life, the guy manning the booth gave me a pair of boxer shorts to try out.

Being the thorough investigative journalist that I am, I immediately went to the bathroom and changed into the Saxx underwear to see if the company’s claims were true. So did my life change? Well, no, but I have to say the boxers were pretty dang comfortable.

Right next door to Saxx was a booth for a company named Oneball, which I thought was a bold name for an underwear manufacturer, but it turns out Oneball actually makes snowboard wax and snow tuning tools. The name, I was told, comes from somebody named One-Ball Jay who very nearly lost one of his huevos but is reportedly still intact and has a couple of kids to prove it.

Having scratched my underwear itch, I continued on and decided I would focus on the companies that seemed most eager to talk to me. This essentially ruled out any brands you may have heard of, as they were all either too cool or too busy to waste their time on a fat, bald, middle-aged dude.

The first recipient of my attention was a Polish apparel company called 4F that had a thickly accented guy standing out front loudly urging me to come and talk. When I did, his people were so thankful they sent me away with a long-underwear top, but they must have thought I was even fatter than I am because the top they gave me was XXL. (Sadly, it’s still really snug.)

Moving on, I encountered a brand-new company called Chapplicator that makes a lip-balm holder that you stick on your helmet so you can apply lip balm without taking off your gloves. Next was an Australian company called Snoogee Boards that makes a contraption that you can mount on a snowboard to turn it into a sled. Both ideas seemed a little fringe to me, but the people were super-nice, so I urge you to go out and buy both products.

The final noteworthy booth I encountered was for Freezy Freakies gloves, which look at first glance like any other brightly colored gloves. The difference, though, is that when Freezy Freakies get cold, cool patterns and designs emerge on the back of them to freak you out. They were a minor fad back in the ’80s that no one but me seems to remember, and now they’re back for retro hipsters to enjoy.

The gloves were pretty neat, admittedly, but the best part about the booth was that the Freezy Freakies guy was giving away Fun Dip. You can keep your flashy skis and jackets; just give me colored sugar eaten with a sugar stick.

Todd Hartley wore the Saxx underwear for three days and then won the lottery. Coincidence? I think not. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

I’m With Stupid: Reviewing Important Stuff at the SIA Snow Show

I got to do something fun last weekend when I attended the SnowSports Industries America Snow Show at the massive Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The annual event brings together all the biggest names in the worlds of skiing and snowboarding, but until this year it was sorely lacking in one critical element, namely me.

Sure, you might think the attendance of a snarky humor columnist isn’t exactly necessary for a trade show, but everything can benefit from an injection of stupid, and I’m just the guy to supply it.

The main room, which seemed to be about the size of three or four football fields, was dominated by huge booths showing off the latest gear and apparel from household names like Salomon, Rossignol, K2 and Patagonia. There also were booths for Roaring Fork Valley favorites like Sport Obermeyer, Strafe Outerwear, Meier Skis and Kastle Ski (which is co-owned by Aspen legend Chris Davenport).

However, since those guys and the other brand-name companies seem to be doing just fine without my help — and because there’s nothing inherently stupid about skis, snowboards and outerwear — I decided to eschew the big boys and focus my attention on the companies and products that are a little less mainstream and a little more suited to my particular milieu. So, naturally, I started with underwear.

I might not have started with underwear, but then I saw a booth for a company called MyPakage, which claims it makes the world’s best boxer shorts, and I thought it was such a great name that I had to go check it out. Just down the row from MyPakage was a more subtly named company called Saxx that makes, in its words, “life-changing underwear,” and when I asked how underwear could change someone’s life, the guy manning the booth gave me a pair of boxer shorts to try out.

Being the thorough investigative journalist that I am, I immediately went to the bathroom and changed into the Saxx underwear to see if the company’s claims were true. So did my life change? Well, no, but I have to say the boxers were pretty dang comfortable.

Right next door to Saxx was a booth for a company named Oneball, which I thought was a bold name for an underwear manufacturer, but it turns out Oneball actually makes snowboard wax and snow tuning tools. The name, I was told, comes from somebody named One-Ball Jay who very nearly lost one of his huevos but is reportedly still intact and has a couple of kids to prove it.

Having scratched my underwear itch, I continued on and decided I would focus on the companies that seemed most eager to talk to me. This essentially ruled out any brands you may have heard of, as they were all either too cool or too busy to waste their time on a fat, bald, middle-aged dude.

The first recipient of my attention was a Polish apparel company called 4F that had a thickly accented guy standing out front loudly urging me to come and talk. When I did, his people were so thankful they sent me away with a long-underwear top, but they must have thought I was even fatter than I am because the top they gave me was XXL. (Sadly, it’s still really snug.)

Moving on, I encountered a brand-new company called Chapplicator that makes a lip-balm holder that you stick on your helmet so you can apply lip balm without taking off your gloves. Next was an Australian company called Snoogee Boards that makes a contraption that you can mount on a snowboard to turn it into a sled. Both ideas seemed a little fringe to me, but the people were super-nice, so I urge you to go out and buy both products.

The final noteworthy booth I encountered was for Freezy Freakies gloves, which look at first glance like any other brightly colored gloves. The difference, though, is that when Freezy Freakies get cold, cool patterns and designs emerge on the back of them to freak you out. They were a minor fad back in the ’80s that no one but me seems to remember, and now they’re back for retro hipsters to enjoy.

The gloves were pretty neat, admittedly, but the best part about the booth was that the Freezy Freakies guy was giving away Fun Dip. You can keep your flashy skis and jackets; just give me colored sugar eaten with a sugar stick.

Todd Hartley wore the Saxx underwear for three days and then won the lottery. Coincidence? I think not. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.

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