WWJD = What Would Johnny Do


If Johnny Carson can tell a joke nobody gets, some of us have hope.

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Health “Credit Card” Dangers, the “Interest” of Convenience, Ignorance


Hannah Seligson’s The Pre-teen Girl Mystery on The Daily Beast caught my attention, and is apparently not the first news story on bisphenol A.  Further reading on the Wikipedia page for bisphenol A is eye-opening.  Of course a Google search yields obvious plastics industry spin.  It got me thinking, not just about a particular toxin or the health of some people, but about all toxins as they affect every human . . . and what can I do to stay healthy?

I’m not a big fan of government action.  America started with the allegation its government could protect life, liberty and property.  Until the Feds get a handle on murder, theft and infringements on liberty, I’m in no rush to suggest any new business.  I also object to the notion that some outside institution or entity is responsible for the quality of life of every individual, beginning with me.  So I’m not advocating some spectacular new politics to keep us all healthier.  Why wait for an “act of Congress” with all the urgency that suggests when I can choose to do something NOW?

I choose to think a bit more about what I ingest on a daily basis, and make consumer choices that reflect my conclusions.  Take microwaves.  Some science and stats help (1, 2, 3).  But intuitively it doesn’t make sense to me that eating something I just “nuked” will lead to a happy ending.  I hate microwaves.  When I cook at home, I use ovens and stoves.  When I eat out, even fast food I prefer microwave-free, so Baja Fresh, Quiznos, and the Whole Foods deli are popular destinations with me.

Sometimes I can’t help myself to a bag of microwave popcorn or the quick McD’s cheeseburger.  But when I do, I believe I’ve just sliced off a few moments of my health and/or life.  It’s like I just charged to my “health” credit card an act of eating for the sake of convenience or taste or short-term “savings” that will cost me “interest” in the form of a complex web of known and unknown future health problems.  That is my thought process.  I’ve chosen to deliberately live healthier.

Canned food is another problem for me.  With the issue of food quality, nutrient levels, and freshness, I really didn’t need another reason to avoid mush from tins.  Now apparently there could be an issue of toxins in the plastic resin involved with the sealing of the can.  Shocking.

I don’t need a doctor or health official to tell me that sticking my hand in a pool of molten lava might negatively impact my health.  Is it a crime for me to choose to slightly enhance such health knowledge?  Not if I am a free, thinking citizen.  So here is what I choose to do, for the sake of my health and the health of anyone who might be watching me (yes, whether we admit it or not, we all see actions in vivid technicolor despite the noise of words):

  1. Trust my instincts
  2. listen to and learn my body at least as well as I do my technology
  3. remain curious, ask questions
  4. use the web, social networking and real world networking to discover and learn
  5. qualify sources, especially when they boast titles, degrees, licenses, or government authority
  6. notice trends, patterns

Many students just graduated.  Unfortunately most of them will look for a job because they were trained to follow and not question or think.  My education BEGAN when I was expelled from college for publishing a newspaper.  My health is tied to my education, which is a lifelong journey.

Potayto, Potahto . . . Trek, Wars


The new Star Trek movie is not for just Trekkies, but those who say “I’m going to see the Star Wars movie”.  Oh, and for fellow members of my 12 Step Program to Remain Single, feel free to make the correction during conversation.  If you do it after a Vulcan salute and “live long and prosper” farewell, it kinda loses the sexy edge.

Floods, Elmer Gantry and The Office Space Nation


So my latest residence flooded.  I awoke last Sunday at 5am, not to some nubile honey begging for more (which would have been unusual if not refreshingly delightful, given my Spock-like adherence of late to my Twelve Step Program to Remain a Single Guy), but to the gentle sound of the thunderstorm in the kitchen, fed by a growing pool of water in the master bath (and bedroom) above.  The water pressure out of that broken toilet would make your average firefighter jealous.

Now half the house is under construction, which ain’t that bad . . . if you don’t need a kitchen.  Besides, eating is over-rated, or so the brain trust “beauties” who populate runways these days tell me.  And the occasional crunches are not tightening my abs quick enough, damnit!

Longer story less long,  I’m looking for a new place to live . . . again.

Ever since I started down the path of a recovering mortgage broker in the late summer of 2007, my housing has been a plot to create material for my stand-up act.  I have slept in an office boasting just enough square footage to accommodate a desk, a chair, and a double size sleeping bag.  Apparently that “double” bag was from the Target for little people.  I have slept on floors and couches and in vehicles.  I have been the human additive to an apartment of cats.  I have rented a room in a house that was foreclosed . . . and PG&E shut off the gas and electric . . . so I relived my Boy Scout days cooking bath and oatmeal water on a camping stove for two weeks.  As I suspected, my definition of “camping” remains lodging half a star above Motel 6 (thanks Boy Scouts and my parents idea of “vacation”).

My residential odyssey of the last few years has required me to recruit ex-US Marshall buddies to serve restraining orders to major metro ex-cops and to pay multiple deposits to a real estate broker landlord who ended up filing for bankruptcy (guess how much of my deposit I got back).

Nothing money couldn’t solve, but when you switch to the entertainment business mid-life, I’ve noticed it takes more than two years to start earning decent coin from the endeavor.  I could pull the family strings, given my parent’s involvement with that 80’s marvel Up With People.  However, given their “born-again” loyalties, the best they can do for my entertainment career is help me research a role for a remake of Elmer Gantry.  But I already did my childhood.  And my parents spent the college, film school, and “help our kids” money on a few decades of membership in the Spokesperson for Jesus of the Month Club.

So here I am, with $30 and lint burning a hole in my pocket.  What am I going to do?

I am going to start Office Space Nation.  My passion is to make love to the nearest movie camera or bored audience.  And apparently one or two people out there have lost their job, fear they’ll lose their job, or hate their job.  They need my help.  I understand.  I have the street cred.  And I am the eternal optimist entertainer who refuses to see the dark side of life.  I have no idea how the business side will work.  One of you does, and needs the work.  I’m just the ideas guy behind the microphone and camera.  I’ve got my plate full.  (Seriously.  You don’t want me anywhere near a spreadsheet.  A wormhole might develop and William Shatner will end up living in your kitchen for the next five years.)

Hi.  My name is Mark Roman.  I am your Socratic Entertainer.  So what’s your passion?

Rescuing the “Office Space Nation”


Since I’m shy, I thought joining Meetup.com might help.  Here’s how I introduced my coy self:

Mark is “The Entertainer” . . . just another Eagle Scout pretty face recovering mortgage broker stand-up comedian, writer and screen actor. Oblivious to the fate of Socrates, he loves to seduce and free the passion within the Office Space Nation.

Yeah world, I just coined “Office Space Nation”.  And I shaved today.  My face.

My mission, and I choose to accept it, is to free the Office Space Nation.  Yeah, I’m starting a movement, nearly religious in nature.  But not to worry.  We’ll be drinking the Kool-Aid out of cups made from recycled TPS reports.  Yeah.

You may belong to the Office Space Nation if the passion in your life involves choosing a Hawaian shirt to wear to the office on Friday.  Know how to clear a printer paper jam?  Report to one or more bosses?  Think “therapy”, hypnotic or otherwise, will make your “occupation” better?  Does your retirement plan require your hospitalization after the random act of a drunk driver?  My name is Mark, and I am here to help.  No, I don’t know much about carpentry . . . and who is “Peter”?