Archive for November, 2007

26
Nov
07

Squanto, eat your heart out.

So I spent the weekend in Phoenix at my uncle’s house with my immediate family, and a smattering of cousins and other family friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Here’s some of the highlights, in a cheesy “Reasons to be Thankful” format:

1. Manly Men- This is twofold: first of all, there was a bitchin’ Man vs. Wild marathon on TV the day after Thanksgiving, and I’d be nuts if I wasn’t thankful for that, but the epitome of manly men resides in my own family.  Bear Grylls, or whatever his name is from Man vs. Wild, may know what bear poo looks like, and may even be able to use it as an alternative food source, but my uncle could use bear poo to track down the grizzly bear that made it, and then give it Indian burns until the bear sacrificed himself into little strips of bear jerky to be dried in the industrial size meat dehydrator my uncle has in his garage.  My uncle is the ultimate man.  He hunts, fishes, makes his own jerky, has a house that features a “projection room,” where he projects ESPN in high def onto a wall bigger than any TV I’ve ever seen, and he’s competed in numerous poker tournaments with minimum bets of up to $3,000.  Friday night he called me into his office where he was playing Limit Omaha Hi-Lo online, a form of poker I didn’t even know existed, and over the course of our thirty minute conversation, had turned eighty dollars into a hundred ninety.  By the time I left on Sunday morning, he was up to $3,000, and also won a trip to play in a tournament in Sydney, Australia, which he was probably going to give to a friend because he “didn’t have the time to go.”

2. Girly Soaps- sharing a shower with my mom, my sister, and other female relatives allowed me to experiment with a number of girly soap products without the embarrassment of actually owning them myself.  With the risk of acquiring a gay point or two, I can say that over this weekend, I apricot-scrubbed my face, deep conditioned my hair, and used white tea and hibiscus body wash with little “vitamin E pearls” floating in it for extra skin softness, which I can only assume came from a rare vitamin E clam somewhere (and yes, Matt, I saw the Vitamin E Clams open for Slayer once).  I can say without hesitation, it was heavenly.

3.  Old Friends and Battle of the Sexes- On Saturday night, I went to my friends Eddie and Jessica’s new home for a barbecue with some of Eddie’s old friends from high school, and my other friend Amelia from APU, who now goes to ASU for grad school.  We talked about how since graduating, life has become a series of landmarks, or things to look forward to, and all agreed that this evening was one of those landmarks.  We played three rounds of Battle of the Sexes, which was great because (and hopefully this doesn’t sound too cocky) playing Battle of the Sexes with me is kind of like playing 18 holes with Phil Mickelson (I was going to say Tiger Woods, but Phil’s a lefty…).  I’m just damn good at it, and I couldn’t tell you why.  I’m a firm believer that the good Lord blesses each one of us with something we can do better than 98% of the human population, and it just so happens that for me, that talent is a board game.  Anyway, there’s really nothing better than playing games with friends, especially when Eddie’s at, to his own determination, “about a 7.286” (and those of you who know Eddie know what that means).

4.  The (Official) Start of Christmas Music Season- At last count, I have 28 versions of “The Christmas Song” on my iPod, and could play Christmas music continually for 1.7 days without repeating a song.  Regardless of my previous post describing my premature entry into Christmas music season, the day after Thanksgiving is a pretty good day for me.

5. Family Connections- Finally, there’s just a level of comfort around those you consider family, whether they are or not.  From the second I walked in the door of my uncle’s house, I felt at home, and I didn’t have to do anything to feel that way.  Over the weekend, I discovered that family members I hadn’t seen in a few years felt more comfortable than some people I’ve known through four years of college, and some other people I’ve known through four years of college can feel just as familiar as family.  It’s good to feel known.

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19
Nov
07

I’m much too young to feel this damn old.

My roommate has a hideous couch that he loves. It’s upholstered with fabric that looks like your grandmother’s curtains and is a dirty yellow, two reasons why he has covered it with an ill-fitting blue Ikea couch cover. He claims there’s no couch better for taking a nap, but my guess is that he hasn’t tried the one on the other side of the room, or really any other couch on the planet for that matter, because I’ve tried napping on that couch, and he’s out of his mind. The problem with his couch is that it’s so old that the springs, or whatever it is that keeps you buoyant on a normal couch, have given out, and you sink into it whenever you sit on it, so much so that your ass is only about four inches off the ground, leaving you staring at your own knees and feeling like you’re sitting in a hole in the ground. Every time I stand up after sitting on this couch, I make this sound:

“Uuuurghhruuuuuuuffgh!!”

If you can’t tell from the spelling, that’s the same sound an old man makes as he gets out of his Buick. It’s a struggle, really. And because of that, it makes me feel old, despite the fact that I am a healthy, hearty, twenty-three. This feeling, odd and unfitting as it may be, is starting to become more common. Let me explain, using an example of what I was doing this past Saturday night, contrasted with what I believe the standard-issue twentysomething might be doing at the same time:

1. Last Saturday night, I went to hang out with my married friends, Matt and Andrea. There’s number one, right there. I have married friends. They had invited my roommates and I, as well as another married couple they know, over to their house to play cards. This was at 7:00pm.

Elsewhere, the typical twentysomething male (from this point on, let’s call him… “Chad”) was calling his bros, trying to figure out where they were going to go find some babes that night. He likely was buttoning up one of the three collared shirts he owns, tousling his hair with a handful of “product,” and spraying Axe body spray all over himself.

2. After playing a few hands of cards, our group began to visibly get tired. This was around 10:30 in the evening. We stopped playing, and then started discussing next year’s presidential election. We followed that with another discussion on school administrative politics.  I thoroughly enjoyed both conversations, and had much to say on both topics.

Meanwhile, Chad and his two bros (Let’s call them “Jon” and “Tyler”) are driving in his lifted truck on their way into Hollywood, listening to Ludacris and ogling at the numerous pods of cleavage-baring young females walking the streets in skirts far too short for the 50 degree evening temperatures.

3. I leave Matt & Andrea’s shortly before midnight, thoroughly tired. Getting into my car, I turn on the radio, and start blindly flipping through stations, not really paying attention to where I am on the dial. I land on a station playing Santana’s “Smooth,” which I remember because it was the only song the radio played my entire freshman year of high school. I listen to the song, still not knowing what station I’m on until the song ends and the DJ comes on for station identification.
“You’re listening to K-Earth 101, playing the greatest oldies in Southern California. Now here’s Otis Redding, with ‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.'” That’s right. A song popular when I was in high school is now getting regular rotation on an OLDIES station.

Back in Hollywood, the boys have found a lot where they paid $10 for parking, made their way into the club (after a $10 cover) and are each holding an $8 Corona while grinding up against one of the girls they saw on the street, whose name, they think, is Tanya.  Or Tyra.  Or Brooke.  There, the DJ says things like “hhhhhOOkay!” and requests that everyone present “shake their tailfeather like it’s they berfday.”

Upon getting home, I go to bed, falling asleep to the sounds of the typical Crestview resident starting their Saturday evening (or Sunday morning?) outside my window. So what if I’m going to bed at a moderately reasonable hour?  I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean I’m old.  I still have my hair, my joints, my understanding of current technology–All these things I talked about?  They’re not bad things, I think.  Not at all.  Well, except for that song already being on the oldies station.  That’s actually pretty frightening.

12
Nov
07

britneypornsexipodchristmasmyspace!!!

Something I like about the website I use to write this very blog (www.wordpress.com) is that any time I want, I can check my stats and see how many people visit the site each day, and often times which posts those mysterious people read. Typically, the visits hover around three or four a day. Meager, yes, but I’m not surprised, seeing as I am but one man, and I don’t really advertise this blog all that much. But, ever since I posted about Disneyland closing “It’s A Small World,” visits to my site have consistently been up around 9 or 10 a day, which still isn’t much, but is pretty staggering considering it’s about a 200% increase in daily visits. The reason, WordPress.com tells me, is that people are looking to find the story on Google or some other search engine, typing in phrases like “disneyland closes ride bottoming out” or “fat disneyland,” (really) and Google is presenting them with my blog as a result. So, using that same philosophy, I’ve decided to pust a list of phrases I think are commonly searched for on Google or other common sites to see how many more people it sends my way. So here goes:

britney spears

nascar

free xxx sex girls porn

fantasy football tips tom brady

paris hilton

myspace facebook friendster

writer’s strike wga hollywood

cheap travel airfare rates

american idol

wwe wrestling

barack obama hillary clinton fred thompson rudy giuliani

youtube monkey washes kitty

chocolate rain videos

lindsay lohan

craigslist

tom selleck fan club

Okay, so that last one was for a far narrower crowd than the previous words, but it’ll get some people, I bet. And seriously, you may scoff, but check out that youtube video of the monkey washing a kitty. And the chocolate rain video, while you’re at it. Great stuff. Anyway, with all that, it’s now just a matter of time before I become the most popular website on the Internet, so enjoy the ride.

And now, a message to all those who have incidentally come across my blog:

Hey you, thanks for stopping by! I’m very glad you’re here. Feel free to poke around and give it a read. In my opinion, it’s a much better use of your time than all the porn and pop culture you were searching for in the first place. And heck, feel free to bookmark me and come back anytime you like. Glad to have you as a reader. Tell me what you think, while you’re at it.

Well, that’s it. Those of you who compose the original three clicks a day I used to have, don’t worry, I’ll try not to get too big a head about it, and I’ll still remember you when I’m an enormous celebrity, and people start searching for my name on Google. Because frankly, it’ll be the people like you that I’ll have to credit when I’m counting all my money.

09
Nov
07

No way you’re never gonna shake me

Here’s how it happened:

You know how sometimes you can have a dream where something in that dream is so realistic that it actually wakes you up? That happened this morning. I don’t even remember the dream. I just remember that at some point in the dream, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket, and it woke me up. It jolted me up, actually. I checked my alarm and realized that it was about twenty or so minutes before it was set to go off, so instead of going back to sleep, I just kind of sat there for a while, thinking. That’s when it hit.

“Doo doo doop, dum, doo doo doop da doop da daaauwm…”

You know how sometimes a song can just pop into your head unannounced and stick there for the entire day? Here I am, minding my own business, sitting in the comfort of my own bed when Mariah Carey decides she needs to start belting out “Always Be My Baby” in my head at 7:00 in the morning. Completely unrequested. So I did what anyone would do if faced with that situation. I reached for my iPod to play it out. For me, it’s the only thing that works. If I wanted to get rid of that song, I was going to have to ride that wave till it broke on the shore.

So I’m sitting upright in my bed, bouncing my head and tapping my feet under the covers to one of 1996’s great pop tunes, thinking that once it was over, I’d be free to go about my day as usual, no big deal. Then came the second wave.

See, as I was scrolling through my iPod to get to Mariah Carey, I noticed something else that I have on it. Something that, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get rid of. It’s something I try to stay away from, but once in a while, it rears its ugly head at me, and tempts me into playing it. It’s something that I’m kind of ashamed of, simply because there’s a lot of people out there that sort of look down upon it, or think that it’s not so good. Not too many people know I have this on my iPod (not too many people know I have Mariah Carey on my iPod either, but those who know me well could probably guess) and I’d kind of like to keep it that way.

So to continue the metaphor, here comes this big ol’ wave, and I’m nipples deep in the water, trying to decide what to do about it.

“Just play it,” I say to myself. “There’s nothing that wrong with it, in fact, there are people out there that like it.”

“Yeah, crazy people,” I thought, and I hopped out of bed. But it kept plaguing me. There I was, standing in the shower, and all I could think about was this one thing. “It’s not right,” I thought. “Not now. I shouldn’t even have it on my iPod anyway.”

“C’mon, it’s not that bad,” I say. “Just do it. That’s the only way it’ll go away.”

“If it wasn’t for that stupid Mariah Carey song,” I think, “I wouldn’t even have this problem in the first place.” I’m torn. I knew it wasn’t going to go away on its own, that eventually I was going to have to play it out anyway, and that soon enough, it was going to be inescapable. I also knew that once I started, it was going to be really hard to stop, which is what made my situation so difficult.

While I was walking to work, I did it. I scrolled right back there, and I pushed play. It was inevitable, and even though it may not have been “right,” once I actually did it, I’m ashamed to say I felt pretty good. Who knows, maybe by the end of the day I’d even be happy I did it. Either way, I decided that, just like with Mariah, I’d ride the wave.

And that’s how I started listening to Christmas music this year.

07
Nov
07

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.

Here’s something that gives me a tiny bit of understanding as to why other countries think the United States is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I love America, and I’m happy to live here, but it’s some of the Americans I could do without. Anyway, here’s the story I heard through one of my favorite podcasts, NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…” (which you can find here)

Disneyland will be closing their infamously annoying and blatantly racist (but in a cuddly way) attraction, “It’s A Small World After All” starting in January of next year. The closure will likely last an entire calendar year, as the ride will be going through a major reconstructive overhaul. The reason for this overhaul? Well, it seems as though when the ride opened in 1964, the average weight of an American male was 175 lbs, and the average American female weighed 135. Sadly, that ain’t the case no more. Today, in the world of McDonald’s, vending machines, and Slurpees, the average American is well over that standard, and anyone who’s been to Disneyland recently knows the average American tourist is even more over that. So here’s the problem: the fat, overfed asses of the typical American family are causing the fiberglass boats in the Small World ride to bottom out and get stuck in the ride’s waterways, which were designed with families more like this one in mind. Thus, the pathways will be made deeper, and the boats will be designed to be more buoyant so as to keep everybody afloat. May I be the first to say, “Thank you, Disneyland.”

Now aside from the obvious “It’s a Not-So-Small World” jokes that could be made here, do we see the problem? I know that I’m young, and still have my metabolism, but this is pathetic. Ride operators at Disneyland have recently had to stop the ride, turn the lights on, and happily escort Papa and Mama Chubb out of the boat and through the emergency exit of the ride, somewhere between the Chinese kids, the singing Eskimos, and the part where the happy cowboy chases the now-smallpox-infected Indian around in an eternal, motorized circle. (Interesting, isn’t it, that Disneyland will close the ride to accommodate the fat American, but has yet to close it to take out the sweet little racial stereotypes that make the ride so doggone loveable? Anyway, that’s beside the point.) The point is this:

Stop. Eating. So. Much. Crap. That’s all there is. We are a nation of superfluousness in every respect, and this is just another example of that. We gorge ourselves so much that we’ve grown too fat to enjoy our own unique brand of entertainment.

So here’s my advice to Disneyland: close the ride, and fix it. Make the channels deeper, keep your target market happy. You can even leave in the singing Asian kids who have slants for their eyes if you really want to. Heck, amp up the stereotypes by putting in some little Iraqi children running around with guns for all I care. But save us having this same problem again in another forty years, and add in a section, maybe towards the end, of little robotic singing children that are doing sit-ups. The least you can do is set a good example.