Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

The holidays brings a side of me that rarely comes out. A sharp, aggressive, competitive and rigid persona emerges and takes over mine and the lives of those who have the pleasure of interacting with me.

I call this character Dickens, after both "Charles" and "Hurts like the."

Dickens has his benefits. He helps me find the perfect gifts, and to pry them from the cold dead fingers of whomever got to them first. Can't tell you how many times that has come in handy. Next, when the family gets together and plays the inevitable card games, I emerge triumphant, wiping the blood and tears of my competitors from my victorious hands. He also helps me decorate the best gingerbread houses known to man.

Of course, I can see the downsides to having a wry, abrasive and fanatical Christmas guise. For one, kids don't like to hear the truth about Santa, or that they don't make Crazy Bones anymore. Dickens has also been known to drive through slush piles, scoring bonus points if the soaked victim flips him off.

This year, Dickens may come out stronger and more ferocious that he has in a while, because I have put off my preparations for Christmas until the relative last minute, and he has a lot of time to make up. For example, Dickens broke almost half of the lights on the short strand he hastily hung on the front of the house, which I later had to fix when he calmed down.

Oh, and he has a perfect Cockney English accent.

The holidays are an interesting time, and I think my alterego is one of the more tame personas I've seen this season. As you go finish your last minute shopping, and especially as you gather your loved ones close, stay in control of your "dickens", lest this be a Christmas to remember.

 I am not schizophrenic.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Newcomer’s Guide to The Cross Stitching Men of America Cruise 2010

My journey of a thousand miles started with a single footstep: toward my car so I could drive to the airport. Loaded up with snacks of all kinds, I was prepared to embark on the trip of a lifetime. I was headed to the First Annual Cross Stitching Men of America Cruise 2010; the world’s largest gathering of cross-stitchers from across the nation. At first I was nervous, since I was just beginning my love affair with the hoop and needle.

I arrived on a Monday afternoon to a crowded loading platform, seasickness pills in hand. I was impressed by the immensity of the ship; I was even more astonished by how muggy the hot Florida weather could be. The line to check in was brief and before I knew it, we had set sail on an adventure I knew I would never forget.

I took my time unpacking my suitcases. I have always been very meticulous about the way my shirts stack, and I am especially careful that my socks are separated into colors. Like food, different colored socks should never touch. When I was done, I decided to go explore. This was not the best idea.

I was ten feet outside my cabin when two guys came sprinting down the hall, laughing all the way. They ran right into me, knocking my Ham and Cheese Hot Pocket to the ground. I shook my head as I thought, Why do they let guys like that on board? This must be how Dr. Otto Scratchensniff must have felt while dealing with The Warners, Yacko, Wacko and their sister Dot, from the cartoon The Animaniacs.

My first class was a basic course on how to make my own custom cross stitch hoops. The instructor looked like he came right out of a big bad biker dude movie. He wore a black, sweaty bandana, and the tip of his frizzy gray beard brushed the top of his large belly. He was the last man on Earth I had expected to teach a class like this.

Though a little gruff, his lesson was extremely comprehensive, and I left excited and anxious to make my first classic car shaped hoop. From there, I headed straight to my second course, entitled Pattern Design for the Modern Man. I was excited for this class, however, you can imagine my dismay upon walking in to see none other than my two friends from the hallway. Suffice it to say, this class was not as enjoyable as the last one, the constant chattering will be echoing in my head throughout the night. I did make a completely radical design for a WWII airplane dog-fighting scene.

There is something to be said for cruise food, let me tell you. Ice cream for appetizer, entrees from all over the world, and finished off with another heaping dish of ice cream. Mother is not here to make sure you are eating a balanced meal, so feel free to explore!

Later on in the week, I enjoyed an all day class where “Size Does Matter”- A Course on Giant Cross Stitching. Joined by Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, I decided to use their excited energy for good. We formed a team and created the best piece of art I have ever made, at least since the second grade: A 12’x12’ rendition of “The Flag Raisers on Iwo Jima.” Instead of the classic thread and needle, we used colored nylon rope and a 3-foot-long PVC pipe to create a high-octane, man-core piece of art.

Believe it or not, I enjoyed working on a team with Orville and Francis.  I learned that high energy is a wonderful asset to have on a team, when channeled correctly. I also learned that it is important not to judge too harshly at first. Especially on a cross stitching cruise!

The rest of my experience was similar to my first day; enjoyable classes complete with my new found friends, amazing food, and a lot of time spent working on my tan at the pool. I must have spent $50 on band-aids for all the times I pricked my fingers! I’ve got to find a company that makes thimbles big enough for my great big fingers! Overall, I think my cross stitching skills have been enhanced in a way that would not have occurred otherwise. To be honest, it was one of the most enjoyable vacations I’ve taken in a long time!

Men of the world: I am issuing a formal invitation, nay, a call of duty! Cross stitching is an art form! There are literally hundreds of us just like you. Please join us in June 2011 for the second annual cruise. You will enjoy yourself while honing your skills and meeting other cross stitchers from around the country. You will be so glad you did. Bon voyage!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner: Help stop the suffering!

Thanksgiving is a day when we all get together as families to catch up on gossip. We all remember what happened last year right? Last year feeds the fire for this year, and this year feeds next. It's a vicious cycle.


There is one upside to this charade we call Thanksgiving: Chinese food. Let me explain.

Thanksgiving food is gross. Just putting it out there. Food that's not gross? Chinese. Ever since I was knee-high to a person, I've always sought to find my favorite food at the Thanksgiving day buffet, but to no avail.

When I turned 16 and was old enough to just drive and drive, away from the foolishness that is cornbread stuffing, I found myself at a Panda Express where I experienced the greatest Thanksgiving feast of my life!

Orange chicken, egg rolls, chow mein, yum! Since that day, I have made it a tradition to have Chinese on Thanksgiving. I mean, if everyone else gets to have their favorite "candied yams" and homemade "stinky-foot green bean casserole", I get my beef and broccoli, and my cashew pepper chicken.

This year, I plan on bringing home made ham fried rice and sweet and sour sauce to the feast in order to enlighten the other guests to a new way of thinking. My goal? Eliminate the awful tradition of nearly burning down the house, a steep price to pay, for a disgusting, dry turkey. Eliminate the fighting, the gossipping, and the gastro-intestinal distress. I mean, that much mashed potatoes must stay in there for a while, right? With Chinese, you could feast every hour, on the hour, because you'll just be hungry again later.

Please, help stop the suffering. Bring some Chinese barbecued pork to your dinner tomorrow. Your family will be "Giving-Thanks" to you!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

See, doesn't that look so much better than lumpy gravy and funeral potatoes?
Yes. Yes it does.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top 10 Ways You Know You Live in Utah

10.  Hunting season is a state holiday.
9.    People get mad when you swear.
8.    Everybody knows your name, even those whom you don't want to.
7.    If you ask a question, it's answered in scripture form.
6.    "You're not going to the celestial kingdom" is considered a burn.
5.    All the flippin' four letter words are spelled differently than the darn rest of the country.
4.    There are carrots in your Jell-o.
3.    The most common haircut is "The Missionary".
2.    More people watch General Conference than the Super Bowl.
1.    Chapels here are like Starbucks everywhere else.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In my next life, I'll come back as a Giant

As I laid in bed last night, after a long day of watching the Rock of Love marathon on VH1, I considered life.  Is this it? Is my time here on this Earth meant to be spent watching burned out rock stars flounder in the fading spotlight while eating old Halloween candy? After much contemplation, I have determined the answer is a resounding yes. Why? Because.
There is nothing better than relaxing while others prance around acting like complete idiots. That is, except being one of them. This got me thinking… What better way to get noticed than by being bigger than everyone else?
This is why, in my next life, I’ll come back as a giant. How radical would it be to be twice as tall as everyone, and get to knock everyone around? Answer: A million. Then, I’ll bet people make a reality show out of me! This would also be a million radical, I can assure you.
Another great thing about being a giant is that you get to eat as much as a large family, while they stand by and watch. They may cheer you on at first, but they’ll lose interest when they realize you have eaten their whole dinner. They’ll start to make dinner again, this time for themselves. This is the perfect time for you to slip out the back, never to be heard from again, until tomorrow night.
One down side is that you’d probably have a hard time riding roller coasters. I have often banged my knees and had to duck coming around corners, and I couldn’t imagine being 10 feet tall.  It seems like a giant would need to carry around a fanny pack with a bunch of band-aids just to keep from having everyone stare at him.
In my next life, I will come back as a giant. A giant with a motorcycle, because even giants gotta be bad to the bone.
Richard Kiel, a King among Men
(I'd try not to look as screwed up, though.
I mean, who wears Hawaiian shirts anymore?)

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to Pick Up Chicks

For your enjoyment: This is my first sarcastic essay, written in Winter 2005, first published in the Valentine's Day 2006 issue of my school newspaper.

This essay is about high school life, really. Boy meets girl, boy harasses girl, girl gets mad and slaps boy with a restraining order, that sort of thing. Hitting on people seems to be a common theme at high school. Guys are always searching for news ways to get the girl. I took a lot of these ideas from my friends, and those I saw, then I blew them out of proportion. Without further ado, enjoy!

"Hey, wanna make out?"
As one of the nation’s foremost Casanovas, I would like to share some of my many theories concerning the proper methods of relentlessly hitting on someone. These techniques have been tried and experimented, and they have withstood the test of time. Let’s start off with something easy.
Theory 1: Persistence pays off.
Tirelessly dropping obvious hints and making passes at someone every time you see them is probably the simplest way to get noticed. The ladies love being harassed by a hundred guys a day (in every part of their day). This technique is especially effective when you know they already have a quarterback boyfriend that could most definitely kick your butt (and every other body part you brush up against her). This shows bravery, which is the second most attractive trait to the ladies, besides persistence, of course.
Theory 2: Chicks dig awesome, original pickup lines.
“If you were a booger, I’d pick you first!”*
“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”*
Lines like these are perfect for swooning those math class would-be sweethearts.
“You must be Jamaican, ‘cause Jamaican me crazy!”* If she’s making you crazy, use that line! Any girl would be flattered out of her mind if someone used an incredible line like that!
Theory 3: Girls like a guy that can take matters into his own hands… I mean that literally!
If you’re walking down the hall and there is a certain hottie walking next to you, if you have the urge to grab her hand (or whatever), do it! The girls I know never like to make those sorts of moves first. Tickle her back, give one sided hugs, and better yet, just lay into her and dip kiss her. She’ll love that!**
Theory 4: Bring flowers every day, write notes and love letters, hide them in her stuff.
The longer the letters, the better. Make them as suggestive as you feel is necessary. Spill your heart out in these love notes. Be totally over-dramatic and act like a guy you saw in the chick flick you watched by yourself last night (hey, maybe she saw it too, and it’ll make you look extra sensitive!). Poems work as well. When delivered, these letters should ALWAYS be accompanied by a flower of some kind. It doesn’t have to be grandiose, maybe you plucked a dandelion on your way to throw pebbles at her bedroom window. Very romantic, indeed.
Case and point: this girl in one of my classes, who is the whole reason I’m presenting these theories. I wrote her notes every day, told her how pretty she is, and asked her all the time if we could go out that weekend. She always thought I was joking around with her. She wouldn’t take me seriously, until one day, I wrote her a song and performed it over the PA system at my school. This got her attention! Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. Please do not make my mistakes, my young protégé.
Alas, these tips are only to be used for your greater good. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility, and blah blah blah, all that jazz. Good luck gentlemen (but mostly ladies)!
*All pickup lines copyright Gordo 2010
**My House on The Moon is not responsible for legal fees or restraining orders that may result from this method.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dress for Success

It has been said that you should dress for the job you want. The spirit of this saying is that you should dress extremely well when going to an interview, and you’ll get a great job where you get to dress up like that every day. Go ahead, experiment on this; go to an interview in flip flops and a tank top, see if you get the job. You see?
Looking awesome, and therefore being awesome, is something we have all learned from a young age. As early as elementary school, it was always the kids who dressed popular who were popular. On the flip side, the kids who dressed nerdy were nerds, the girls who dressed slutty were sluts, and the guys who only wore sleeveless shirts and sport shorts were complete tools. This simple rule has been proven time after time.
Theoretically, you could dress for any job you want. You could dress like a bag boy or a garbage man if that’s where you want to work. You could dress the way you want, though it may look like Halloween every day. Wouldn’t that be fun though?
So what if you want a job in a boy band? My friend Kev and I were reflecting on our hopes and dreams the other day, and he mentioned that his dream growing up was to be a member of The New Kids on The Block, right alongside Mark Wahlberg (the early years).
So how would he have to dress for success as a member of NKOTB?
First, we have to look at the clothes. These guys wear oversized vests, leather jackets, or no shirt at all. While this look is not for everyone, the confidence to try it will make you stand out above the crowd. As for pants, the baggier the better. If at least 4 inches of your boxers must be showing at all times, you’re not doing it right. You could even wear overalls with the straps undone, that looks awesome.
Next, the hat. Whether it’s a backwards baseball cap, an upside-down visor, or a fedora, any cap will do. Even a bandana is great, as long as it’s worn with attitude. A classic black hat of any style will work at any occasion. Whether it’s a casual boys night out, or you’re wearing a tuxedo, you will always look awesome.
Now the hair, facial and otherwise. Bleached tips on spiked hair is great, the curly pompadour works too, but cutting steps in the side is the best style for NKOTB success.  Facial hair is a very particular science, and must be attended to on an artistic level. You might try a pencil thin beard, or the ever classic soul patch.
If either of these are not possible, due to poor ability to grow hair in those places, you can modify the hair that is already present: your eyebrows. Shaving a line or two into your eye brows is a great way to make a statement that you will do what it takes to succeed.
Remember, it’s all about attitude. Part of dressing for success is acting in a way that reflects the style you’re trying to pull off. You must be able to wear any and all of these styles and act like you mean it. You’ll never get anywhere if you’re embarrassed about people watching you strut your stuff.
Individually, these tips will not have the power to launch you into boy band legend, but when combined together, you might just be the newest member of The New Kids on The Block!
Hope this helps, Kev! Good luck!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trees do not hug you back

You may like trees. But hear this:

Trees do not like you.

In fact, they hate you. What was the last thing you did for any one of them? That's what I thought.

Trees do not care how much you profess to love them. They do not care how much you hug them.

Trees will never hug you back.

Trees provide shade, fruit, they even create the very air you breathe. And how do you repay them? By cutting them down. Wes, I'm looking at you.

Imagine you're a tree. Now, as we learned from The Lord of The Rings, the life of an Ent (tree person) is extremely slow moving, so this scene would be in slow motion.

So you're standing there, dancing in the breeze and minding your own business, when all of a sudden, a chain saw starts up right behind you! Being made of wood, your joints are very stiff and you can't turn around quickly enough to karate chop the ol' lumberjack. All you have time to do is close your eyes and brace for the worst botched surgery of your life. A bodyectomy. A complete removal of the body from the roots.

Did you notice the tree shuddering as you walked up with that newly sharpened ax or freshly oiled chain saw? You heartless, cruel people.

Sadly, I'm not sure there is anything you can do about this one sided hatred they have for us. All I can say is be humane as you chop them down. Thank the tree for its service and the long life it had. It will not acknowledge you, and will not speak to you.

Because trees hate you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Childhood Memories: Breakfast

Like many of you, my loving Mother insisted that I eat a healthy, balanced breakfast each morning. In order to ensure we ate well, she wouldn’t buy sugared cereal very often. It was always cheerios and toast, eggs and OJ. Now, I am not complaining about having hearty, lackluster breakfasts. On the contrary, I believe that the great food I ate at that time of my life helped me to grow up healthy and strong, and it helped me focus in school. But at what cost?
Getting away from these healthy breakfasts were the reason I loved traveling to grandma’s house. Strawberry Nesquik by the bucket, Reese’s Puffs Cereal, Cotton Candy, Lucky Charms, Gummy Bears, potato chips! You name it, we ate it! Now, it’s very possible my memories from 15+ years ago are skewed, but I’m pretty sure everything was fair game.
You can imagine my dismay upon coming home back to plain Rice Chex and Special K.
Being the oldest, I was the “practice child”. My parents would experiment with different parenting styles, new rules and punishments on me. I believe the tasteless, fiber-full breakfast foods forced upon me was one of those punishments. When I got into high school, and my younger siblings were entering school themselves, it became much easier for them to feed us Froot Loops, Honey Combs and Coco Puffs. Finally, when I got almost too old for the mazes on the box, they cave. Notice I said almost.
Typically, the cereals weren’t even name brand. My parents bought the bulk cereals, because it gets spendy to feed 5 hungry kids. This begs the question, can you buy a kids love with name brand cereals? The answer is a resounding yes.
This is why, at every chance I get, I purchase name brand, delicious, sugary goodness to show my wife that I love her, and more importantly, that I love myself.
I urge you, my dear readers, to go and stroll through the breakfast aisle. Let your children choose their favorite. Pick up an extra gallon of milk and the big package of Nesquik. Your children will thank you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Follow Up Letter to NASA

To whom it may concern:
Recently, I sent a package to your offices at NASA containing several articles, including head shots and designs I came up with for awesome space ships. One of these items in particular was my resume and application to the space program. I hope it was just a clerical error, but I still have not heard back.
As you may relate, it has been a boyhood dream of mine to work for NASA, specifically to become an astronaut. Long have I been preparing for the day when I would be called upon to man a mission beyond the edge of space, where Earth’s gravity no longer has control over me.
In case you lost my resume, I will detail my qualifications once more. I possess many qualities that would make me a stellar (get it?) astronaut.
First, I have an amazingly strong stomach. I can do back flips on my parent’s trampoline all day and not get sick. Also, one time, I won a chicken nugget eating contest against my little brother. 46 nuggets. I have a very strong stomach.
Second, space food will not be an issue because I practice eating food from a tube all the time. I'll bet your astronauts don't condition for the rigors of space travel like I have! At first, I would reuse old toothpaste tubes and eat from there, but now, because of my new job in the electronics section at Wal-Mart, I can afford to buy the real thing! At first I didn’t like it, but I refer you back to my strong stomach.
Furthermore, I know that I would look awesome in a space suit. It seems as though NASA would get more funding if they had better looking astronauts and more awesome looking suit. I have included an artist’s conception of the neatest space suit ever!

As for knowledge if space travel, you won't find a more knowledgeable person that yours truly. I have seen nearly every film made about space, space travel, space aliens, space suits, and saving earth from space ever made since 1987, because I wasn't born yet before 1987. Yes, this means I started watching these films before I celebrated my first birthday.

Finally, I am an experienced pilot. I have beaten every video game ever made about flying, space travel, and killing aliens. This qualifies me as the best defense against alien invaders you will interview in you entire illustrious career.

Speaking of NASA funding, I bet you’d have more fans in government and across the nation if you’d be more prompt in your replies to letters. This goes for fan mail, bills, and ESPECIALLY resumes. Some of you may be getting old, and you need young nerdy guys to run the space program, i.e. me. I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

Gordon T. Witherbottom, III
PS I would make an exceptional ray gun tester, if you need that too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I would be thinking if I were President Obama and I realized I gave that whole speech with my fly down

Oh. My. God. 

Has my fly been down this whole time?! I just addressed MILLIONS of hard working Americans on live TV, how long has it been open?

Maybe no one saw…
I think the podium covered most of it. Yeah, I bet nobody even noticed.
Wait a minute, is that why Michelle asked me if I was hot?! Did she think I was just letting in a little air to cool off? Who does that, open their fly for some circulation? I am not that kind of guy!
Oh, who am I kidding?! I’m wearing red, white, and blue flag boxer shorts, how could anybody miss that? I was walking around the stage for over an hour and crouching down every 20 seconds, you know, to get down on their level. Sue me, it’s a technique!
Oh great, I’ll bet there’s a close up photo of my crotch on every snarky website within the next 10 minutes or less!
Barack, you do this to yourself all the time! Whenever the slightest thing goes wrong, you think about it for months! Stop beating yourself up, dude! You’re the friggin’ Leader of The Free World!
Maybe this will be good for me. Yeah, maybe it will make people like me more. Maybe they’ll think, “Oh, hey, he wears the underwear of everyman! We love you Barry!”
[To Joe Biden: “Hey, what kind of underwear do you wear?”]
[Joe Biden: Gives weird look]
Uh, what’s his problem?
I am seriously going to kill everyone on my entire staff. As soon as I walk in the doors, they are all fired! Those jerks don’t care about anyone but themselves!
Ah, no, I can’t just fire them for this. They are just hard working Americans who happened to work for a guy who forgot to zip his pantaloons. It wasn’t their fault, after all…
[sigh] Oh, Abe Lincoln, what would you do?
Maybe I should just make a joke about it, and start laughing about it first, before everyone starts in on me about it. You know what, I might just do that. I could give another speech with my fly down again, and wear big ol’ novelty polka dotted underwears! That would be hilarious! Making the world laugh will be a great way to boost my ratings!
Oh man, I’m in trouble…

Oh gosh...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

73 Days ‘Til Christmas!

The last run ‘til Christmas. Crunch time is upon us, have you come up with the best present ever? If you haven’t, let it be known that you are a terrible human being. Also, that doll your daughter wants? Sold out in July. Welcome to America.
Coming up with the greatest present your loved ones have ever received is an art performed delicately. You don’t want to give one daughter a car, and the other one a laptop. It is vitally important you carefully compare the magnitude of each gift, being sure that one present does not overshadow another. Also, you don’t want to go too big, too fast. You’ve got at least 18 years for each kid to spread your Christmas spirit all over!
Also, your presents must be thoughtful. As they say, it’s the thought that counts. I can imagine getting the most expensive Barbie car they make. But what use is that to me? Make sure that, aside from being expensive, that your presents are useful. Kids understand that you love them however many dollars you spend on them, but they also like to get some use out of their presents. Value is in the eye of the beholder!
Lastly, make sure that, while buying your gifts, that you don’t do a whole “Gift of the Magi” thing. Also, make sure someone else isn’t planning on getting the same exact gift. Trust me, I know.
Last Christmas, as I was pondering on the perfect gift for my wife, I had cause to think about our current living situation. At that time, we had moved every couple of months, and we had not yet obtained much furniture. Naturally, I lovingly decided to purchase a sofa for her Christmas present.
So did she.
I went into the store and bought the couch, and made arrangements with her father to help me bring it home. We were to surprise her with the couch by hiding it in the basement and giving it to her on Christmas. She literally had the exact same idea!
When I walked in, I could not believe my eyes. There was the couch she had bought for MY Christmas present! Needless to say, my couch stayed at the store. I’m willing to bet this is not the last time this will happen, nor will this be the last time we laugh about it!
As we speedily approach this Christmas season, please remember that even though it is better to give than to receive, someone will be receiving, so please put yourself into their shoes. Would you REALLY like to get a belt for Christmas? Get real, guy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mixed Feelings About: Autumn

Like many of you, I have mixed feelings about the upcoming autumn season. On one hand, I get to dress up like Avatar, and on the other hand, the weather depresses me. I just can’t win.
One thing we can all agree on is that fall brings many reasons to celebrate. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday are great holidays, and as an extra bonus, those holidays act as a runway to the most wonderful holiday of all: Tiger Woods’ birthday (December 30, 1975)!
The cool weather and the leaves on the ground have a peculiar effect on my palette; I crave spider shaped cookies ALL THE TIME! You know, a round cookie with chocolate eyes and pretzel legs. My favorite!

(Mmm, doesn't that look delicious?)
I also get hungry for soups and other heavy meals like steak and potatoes. I even made a pasta dish yesterday with hot Italian sausage, butternut squash, onions, and mushrooms (very delicious, email me for the recipe), just because I wanted something a little heavier. Will this make ME heavier? Maybe. Who knows why the cold weather drives me to completely change my eating habits?
What I love most about fall is dressing up for Halloween! Whether I’m dressing as the Bananas in Pajamas, or a 45-year-old man (nobody recognized me, they thought I was a stranger!), every Halloween is an adventure. The thrill that comes from creeping people out or by making them laugh is unbeatable. You know, there really are a lot of great reasons to enjoy this time of year.
I’ll tell you what. This Halloween, as you are crouching in the bushes ready to scare the crap out of a group of 3rd graders, take a moment to reflect on the many reasons you love autumn, and try not to let it get you down!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Joys of Loafing

Who knows how many hours have been spent loafing? No, not rolling bread dough, and no, not strolling around in penny loafers. I’m talking wicked proper, idle, unequivocally lazy loafing. No one, probably. Who’s got the energy to keep track anyway?
A good loafing session may look any number of ways. Today, I wish to outline a few of my personal favorite methods in order to experience the pure elation of loafing.
First, of course, is watching season after season of a favorite television show on DVD in one sitting. Oh, how many times I have stayed up all night watching a series, such as Heroes, The Pretender, Futurama, Burn Notice, White Collar, and many, many more. It’s very easy, just slump down on the couch, and select “Play All”. Right there is a guaranteed 3 or 4 hours of lounging around until the disk must be changed. And who is going to change it?
This is what cell phones are for. If you practice, you can get anyone, be it a brother, mom, wife, or a neighbor down the street who runs in out of breath because you told him it was an emergency. It is an emergency! My DVD just got over; I need you to change it! He’ll probably huff and complain, but he will do it, albeit grudgingly. Problem solved, and you didn’t have to do a thing!
Second will have to be snoozing. I remember hitting the snooze button dozens of times instead of dragging my butt out of bed. I still got up, but I loafed around in my bed for hours. I can’t think of a more enjoyable experience of sleeping in 8-9 minute increments for a few hours, except of course, if the alarm wasn’t waking me up all the time.
An unfortunate consequence of snoozing is missing class, work, or a wedding (hopefully not your own). One way to combat this result is to set your alarm for a few hours earlier. This way, you still have the delightful experience of slapping the snooze button several times before you actually have to get up.
Last is just laying there, making others drag you from room to room. Many would argue that the most efficient way to move from one point to another is to just get up and walk. I vehemently disagree. There are many people walking from one room to another, hour after hour, day after day. These people are suckers.

The goal of this exercise is to exploit the energy they are already expending. You may choose to yell loudly for someone to come help, or you may choose to just grab on as they walk past. Either way works, however there are pros and cons to each method.
If you yell for help, you are using much needed energy, energy that could be used for more loafing. There is also a risk that no one will help you. Either they don’t care or they know what your plan is and don’t want to get tricked. Don’t give up; there is always someone that will help you, if only to shut you up!
If you choose to use the sneak attack method and grab onto someone as the walk by, patience is paramount. Someone may not walk by for a long time. When they do, do not blow your chance. Grab onto as much as you can grab, clothing, legs, etc. In my experience, grabbing both legs doesn’t work very well, as they no longer can walk. Once you have their attention, let them know they need to drag you to your target destination and you’ll leave them alone. It never fails! (Actual rate of failure is 3 in 5)
Honorable mention:  Spacing out, staring at nothing, and losing all sense of space, time, and pop culture. I do not advocate checking out of your own mind. I mean, at least enjoy your opportunity to loaf. Spacing out does encompass all requirements of what I call “loafing”, however, so I will give it an honorable mention.
Good loafing!

Monday, October 4, 2010

An Open Letter to My Mysterious Cold

To Whom it May Concern,
I am currently experiencing a mysterious cold. You, Señor Cold, are terrible. I didn’t ask for you. I don’t even know where you came from. I guess what I’m trying to say is why don't you just make like a tree and leave? You are an uninvited tresspassor inside my nose. This is your official notice to get out!
I bet you get your jollies from making nice guys like me as sick as you can. Do you think it’s funny? Hilarious, I can assure you. Not.
You, my mysterious cold, are the solitary reason for this down economy. If people were healthy enough to get into their respective work places and produce their various goods, we wouldn’t be in this situation. After all, as the ancient Chinese proverb says, “You sell more things, you make more money!”
It wouldn’t be so bad if I could sleep at night. But I bet that’s your favorite part huh? I can’t even lie down, or else I can’t breathe! Ah, I could just kill you right now, you know? And what’s up with the sudden temperature changes? One second I’m hot, then I’m freezing, then I’m hot again. You son of a gun.
I hate you, everyone hates you. We met, we voted and we all agree that you should go take a long walk off a short pier.  In short, stay out of my life.
PS You owe me $12 for all those tissues

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Art of Being a Man

Being a man has become increasingly complex over the years. For example, up until about 200 years ago, all you had to do to be a good man is work all day to feed your family. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat, and then what kind of a man would you be? That’s right; A dead one.
I mean, even 50 years ago all you had to do was not beat your kids and not get drunk too often, and you were doing alright. These days, with the ravenous media at every turn, a man must always be on his guard. Aside from not beating your kids (which is fairly reasonable, I think (unless they deserve it)), you must be aware of everything you say, do, wear, and think. Yes, everything you think, because you never know how many telepathic people are out there at any given time peering into your less-than-manly thoughts.
Being a man today is an art form. No longer does it mean being a burly, mustachioed lumberjack, nor does it have anything to do with the amount of marshmallows you can fit into your mouth.  Being a man today is all about confidence. And winning at video games. It is also about getting as much general knowledge as possible to shove in people’s faces.
For example, last night I watched a documentary about space. Yes space. How hard core is that? Only slightly, when you consider the frailty of the average scientist. It’s still manlier than, say cross stitching though (depending on what pattern you’re using, i.e. ZZ Top=Manly). What’s more hard core is the fact that I now can verbally destroy any and all opponents who challenge me on any paltry trivia. Now obviously, I am not the manliest man in the world. I have not yet mastered this ancient art. However, I am extremely close. I admit that there are many people out there, including some members of the fairer sex, who can trounce me in a game of wits. The fact that I admit this makes me even manlier. Again, it’s all about confidence.
Sculptors and painters across the ages have painted men with perfectly sculpted physiques. Nowadays, this is not the most accurate representation of a quality cross-section of America. The fact is, people are shorter. Also, I suspect these artists paid just a little too much attention to the “details”, if you catch my drift (I can't speculate on the sexuality of said artists, but you can see my point).  There are men of all shapes and sizes all over the world. Would someone with 3 chins be considered less manly than someone with a 6 pack? Well, depending on your definition, because technically the fat guy is more man than the skinny guy, but you get what I mean. A little fitness never hurt anybody.
These days, in the heyday of automobiles and moving pictures, as they are sometimes called, appearances are extremely important. At every turn is the heavy influence of womanly things. A man must set aside thoughts of flower arrangements or Hollywood romance gossip. Hard though it may be, if these thoughts are allowed to flourish, all manly thoughts concerning cars, guns, electronics, and spy movies will be suffocated under a flower print duvet cover.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a game of “Goldeneye” on N64 to win.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Their Flag Should Look Like

As I bopped around the interweb yesterday, I got thinking; why do some flags look the way they do? They are certainly not what I would have picked for your nation/state/sexual orientation. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. What right do they have to display a flag that misrepresents their organization?
How about I redesign your flag? I’ll do it free of charge. Because that’s the kind of guy I am.
Japan-  Japan’s flag is a red dot on a white background. I’m told it’s meant to symbolize the sun. Who ever heard of a red sun? At least distinguish it with a smiley face and sunglasses or something. Also, the Nintendo logo should be on the corner.

Cook Islands- Okay really, someone needs to get original. I do believe England and Colonial America had that flag first. Ya ol’ copy cats. I would make a blue-green background (to symbolize water) and 15 little green dots to symbolize the islands. Actually, it might be easier to get on Google maps and take the sky view and make that the flag. There. What a good flag.
 Iraq-  Earth to Iraq: No one can read squigglies. I don’t mind the black and red stripes, but seriously, get rid of the Arabic. Maybe you could put a picture of Iraq or something on it to make it more interesting. That way Yemen won’t have to change their flag, which by the way, looks awesome.

The Gays (LGBT)- The Rainbow flag has always been used by many groups around the world to symbolize diversity and includiveness. So now why does the LGBT community now get to adopt this longstanding tradition as their own sole flag? I propose that the colors should be scrambled, making the color scheme "queer". Also, they could cut the flag into an upside down triangle, much like Napal's flag (which, for the record, is the raddest flag out there).
France/French Guiana- These flags are exactly the same. I understand that France has to let the whole world know that they own a sweet piece of real estate where the average high is in the 80’s. I get that. True to form, the French are snobbie show offs. Let’s distinguish this flag with a 2 on it. Like so.

Libya- I like how your flag is just one color. Definitely a bold choice. My only issue is, well, why green? There’s definitely nothing green about your country. Maybe it should be tan like the desert, or red like the tomato sauce on the pasta, which is also Italian influenced.
Poland-  I’d make tire tracks across the flag. It seems that, no matter where a country is located, Poland must be tromped through to get there. Poland just gets rolled over every stinkin’ time. Maybe I should put on tank tracks to remind them to get out of the way next time.
The only flag I wouldn’t change? Antarctica. My hats off to you guys for being strait forward and saying exactly what you mean. Bravo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Very Own Super Suit

I've always thought about having super powers, however, I am not from another planet (that I know of), and hazardous waste is pretty unwieldy. You never know what you're gonna get when dealing with radioactive gunk. Having said this, it becomes obvious that super powers are not in the cards for me. Introducing The Super Suit.
Because I am rather famous, sometimes I have need for a Super Suit. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Why does this guy have a Super Suit, and not me?” Also, you may be thinking about what to have for dinner. To this, I say “Focus.”
Imagine I am walking down to the 7-11 to get a Shrekalicious Slurpee and a fist-full of hot dogs. I know its night time, but I can’t bring myself to remove my sunglasses. They just look so extremely cool.
So there I am, minding my own bees wax, when all of a sudden, a bus starts careening out of control, and rolls right down the street 37 times headed straight for me. Wouldn’t that be a great time to have a super suit? Nod your head yes.
Let’s talk about the functions of said super suit. My super suit can do almost anything. It makes me extra strong, just in case I drop something, like a Kit Kat, under the car. It also makes me run super fast. Oh, and I can fly too.
Also, it definitely has to look awesome. I mean, I don’t want to be running down the street in sweat pants and a cape, like some kind of nerd. It would have armor and a sweet utility belt too. On the belt, it would have a place for my wallet and phone since, of course, you can’t have bulky pockets in a super suit. Having lumps on your thighs looks so retarded. It would also have an oil slick, a ray gun, a PEZ dispenser, and a bull whip.
One thing that would be important is that it looks relatively normal. It would look like a regular suit. That way, I can still go to work, look hawt, and save the day all at the same time. The jacket could camouflage the utility belt, and the tie could double as a lasso or something.
You know, armor and a utility belt might be kind of heavy. To be honest, I think they would often get left in my Super Suit Display case (because you gotta display something that awesome). Also, it would get really old fast if everyone kept asking me to lift up their car or run out and get coffee, especially if they were timing me all the time. The stress of all these people relentlessly hounding me to show off my suit would get so annoying. Get your own dang coffee guys! You know what, forget the super abilities too.
I think a normal, sweet looking suit is a good idea. Yeah. I’d still use the tie as a lasso.

(Saving the Damsel in Distress. Now that's a good Super Suit.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Turn a Doggie Door into an Amusement Machine

There is nothing funnier than watching a puppy dog run full sprint into a blocked doggie door.
There. I said it.
The other day, I finally got around to installing the door flap for my dog. Or dawg, depending on where you’re from. The good news is that he figured it out very quickly. The better news is that I don’t have to stand there and watch him pee anymore. Cause that stuff is gross.
Here's the best news of all: it is now a source of hours of entertainment, if used just right.
Now, some might consider what I’m about to tell you abusive.  If you belong to this minority, please, I urge you, to stifle those feelings and try what I’m about to tell you. You may change your tune! It’s okay, your dog will love it!* At least you will, anyway.**
First, get him used to the dog door. Walk him through it a few times until he gets the hang of it. This is crucial, as he must get comfortable enough to run through the door. Next, get him excited by throwing a tennis ball or something across the yard, meanwhile, run into the house and close the  door. As he sees you go inside, he’ll chase you and BAM! You’ve never laughed harder. (If you're imagining the same thing I am, boy, get ready!)
Again, before you get all upset, remember that he’s not running nose first into it, dogs always (if they’re smart) put their heads down to push the door open. He’s not hitting the door that hard either, so he’ll be okay. It’s just funny.
The most hilarious part about the whole thing is that they won’t learn the first time! If you take the cover off for a few days, he’ll forget about it and BAM you got him again!
Oh, good times, good times.
While we’re on the subject, trapping him under a laundry basket is pretty funny too. This is especially useful when he’s eating all the Grasshopper cookies from above the fridge. I wonder how he got up there… Oh well, my wife says he also ate my ice cream too. I hope he enjoys getting fat from all my treats!


*    He might not. That's the risk you take for a once in a lifetime situation as this.
**  You will. Trust me.
†    Yeah, I didn't believe that one either.