Sunday, October 10, 2010

Testimony Meeting

I am a nerd. For those who actually follow this mix-up of jargon know that. However, there are some much more interesting people in this world. Where do you find them? Oh that's simple. At a fast and testimony meeting.

Now if you've known me longer than ten minutes, you understand my disappreciation for the Utah Mormon culture. This disgust only increases as I sit through a ho-hum nutcase venting session in church every first Sunday of the month.

For some reason nut jobs think that standing at a podium to bear their testimony means that they will open up a Pandora's Box of experiences that define the creatures that they are.

For example:

• A girl got up and expressed her frustrations for still being in a singles ward and that all of the men should pursue her to get married.

• Douchebag McCoy's will all get up and remind all of the chicas that they served a mission and this then makes them the ideal mate.

• A kid referred to his partying days and remembers all of the good times that he had when he was "sloshed".

• A guy got up and referenced that he knew the church was true because one day the Lord spoke to him while he was playing Super Mario Brothers.

• A kid got up and made the statement, "Do or do not, there is no try."

• To which the next girl got up and said "I'm so glad that the last kid quoted Yoda in his testimony." By the way she is named after the 80's band Journey. (It's pronounced Jer-nee')

You find out alot about people by watching them bear their testimonies. That they can be crazy. That they are wacko. Or that they can be genuine. It all depends. Heck those type of people motivated me to write this blog during testimony meeting itself.

People are unique. We all are. The best line I've ever heard in a testimony was when an elderly woman said, "I'm so glad that the Lord has spoken to me through a bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal."

She said this in Boston.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Win cash for solving blog...

This is a particularly unusual blog. What is so unusual about it? That is up to you to find out. I am not going to say what it is. But, as you look at this particular blog, I want you to focus on what could possibly vary from my usual words of humor, for a distinct variation is obvious. And who knows, you could crack this conundrum and obtain a cash award for your brain’s labor. Carry on studying this, a solution will occur.

You may ask what I was thinking to construct a thing such as this. It was born following long hours of staring at a blank monitor and gallons of Coca-Cola gushing through my blood. For my justification, I may say that I do go on social outings. I don’t just sit in my room playing “World of Warcraft” or “Halo.” I go out with girls, I play sports, I do things such as that. I am just curious and had a lot of nothing going on this past Saturday. That is how this was born. So, do not pass a harsh opinion too swiftly.

Back to what is important for now. You look at this and you may ask, what is wrong with this blog? Possibly not wrong, but what is so intriguing about this blog? Or is anything unusual about this blog at all? Do my words prick your thoughts in any way? Who knows, this total thing could in fact signify nothing. But am I a sort of individual who would do a thing such as that? I don’t think so. I would not do that to you. I am actually writing this to distinguish how many of you actually will go through and try to crack this. It is worth it, you can count on that. I am not going to throw you a wild pitch just for kicks. As I said prior, I am not that kind of guy.

Do you know what it is? It's as plain as day, looking at you, waiting for an individual such as you to clarify it. Can you spot it? It is right in front of you, staring right back at you. Dang, this must annoy you. This is slightly irritating, isn’t it? To know that this blog has a distinguishing trait to it and not link it mutually in your mind? It is similar to that infamous itch that you can’t scratch, or a cough that just will not go away. It is a frustration to you, and I can almost grasp your aggravation as you study this. I’m sorry, but I know you can do it. Do not quit now.

I actually got my inspiration for this blog from a blurb I saw on a card at a bus station. That sounds fairly random and odd, but it is how I found it. I am not kidding you. It was analogous to what this is about. I saw it and instantly I was caught in a mind trap with this portion of writing. It was so intriguing, that I had a craving to mimic it. And now I am, in a similar forum of writing. I could try and furnish a hint to put your thoughts in motion, but I think I did that by now. Study thoroughly, and you may distinguish what I’m talking about.

In conclusion, I want to say that I am proud of you for trying to work out this tricky confusion. You all try so hard, and that is good. It has to kill you not to know what is wrong with this writing. How about this, If you think that you know what is so unusual and singular about this blog, post your thoughts, your solutions. If you supply a right solution, you will obtain a cash award for your sharp wisdom.

Good luck and don't quit.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hump Day...


Hump day. That’s what one of my friends called Wednesdays. Hump Days. I had never heard the term before, so I was a bit confused. Does today feel like a hump day to you? I’m not so sure. And so I started thinking about all of this.

Actually, this blog was inspired by a “Seinfeld” episode where Jerry, Kramer and Newman are sitting in a car discussing how different days of the week have a feel.

I think the most depressing of all days has got to be Monday. You have to agree with me on that. Every Monday people around the world awake with a groan emanating from their stomachs, shaking their head in a nauseated fashion, saying to themselves, “Why? Why does this day have to exist? Why do I have to awaken to the understanding that my life is being poured down a massive depressing toilet called Monday? CURSE ALL MONDAYS!” Awakening to a Monday is about as enjoyable as drinking two cups of maple syrup. Everyone cries to the heavens in vain wishing it could just stay the weekend.

The weekend itself is the complete opposite feeling of how Mondays devastatingly drain you of all joy and happiness. And it all starts on Friday. Friday has to come with one of the best feelings in the whole world. Nothing can bother you on Friday. The world is your oyster, whatever that old timer’s phrase means. On Friday you can have stacks and stacks of work, school and other priorities piling up on you, but who cares, you’re taking the boat out this weekend. Friday is like finding a wrinkled $20 bill in an old pair of pants, or waking up at 4:17 a.m. and realizing you have three and a half more hours of sleep left. Friday is the highest of joys in the world…

… which then carries into Saturday. My usual time of awakening on a Saturday comes roughly just after the noon hour, and I’m perfectly fine with that. On Saturday you forget about words such as responsibilities, homework and study groups, and replace them with hot tubs, road trips and “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Saturday is reserved for football games, late night movies and let’s have a bag of Skittles for dinner. Saturdays are the world’s excuse to act like a kid and get away with it.

Sunday is just about as good itself. Nap time. Relaxation. Let’s all just sit back and see how much procrastination we can accomplish. I think that’s an oxymoron, but not to worry, it’s Sunday, let’s just take it easy today. Sunday is the calm before the storm. Monday is light-years away as we relax and think about how effective we can be at doing absolutely no tasks whatsoever. Sundays are reserved totally and 100 percent for nothing.

Tuesdays have a similar feel to the Sunday feel. You are still depressed and forlorn at Monday's recent occurence. However, you don’t want to do anything extra special or work too hard. Tuesday is a day for monotony to take place at work and you to drone the day away, wishing you were further on in the week.

Further on, like you were at Thursday. Now that has a promising feel to it. Let’s not forget about that. Thursday is the faint glimmer of hope that the joyous weekend is in sight. On Thursday you still have all of the workload piled on you, but at the same time your thoughts drift off to “I wonder what ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is going to be like tonight,” or “maybe we should go camping tomorrow night at Sand Hollow.” On Thursday you’re in both worlds. Work is still on top of you, but hey, the weekend is almost here, so there’s hope.

And now we are here on Hump Day, halfway between the tedious drudgery that is the beginning of the week and the jubilant euphoria that is the weekend. And so I sit staring blankly at a computer screen watching the digital clock tick on. Will this day get over? Am I over the hump yet? Who knows? I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel any time soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Tattoo...


So I’ve been thinking about why I don’t have a tattoo.

To me, tattoo’s are absolutely fascinating depictions of art that are displayed on the human body.

It is estimated that 36% of people aged 18-29 have at least one tattoo on their bodies. So why am I not a part of that 36%?

Here are a few reasons. Also known as tattoos that I will never get.

First. I will never get a Japanese Kanji tattoo. Why do guys get them in the first place? Am I more masculine if I get the word “Strength” or “Honor” in a completely different language tattooed to my shoulder, which is the typecast appendage where the ink is placed. No, I am still a moron. How in the heck do I know that he’s putting on the motivating words I asked for? The guy is probably writing the words “booger” or “fart smeller” instead.

Along with the dipstick Kanji tattoos that compensating guys my age get, there is also the arm band that will never grace my biceps. Originally created as the barbed wire arm band, this “tough-guy” line has gotten bigger, and wider, and tougher, and dumber. You take a few steps up the douchebag scale by getting this.

Girls can be placed on the douchebag scale by getting the “I’m-a-piece-of-white-trash” mark, also known as the tramp stamp. Now the tramp stamp is usually a butterfly logo just above their buttcrack. This is a symbol of disgrace. Notifying us of their pathetic qualities. Why a girl places this stigma on their backsides has no logicality in it whatsoever.

If I were going to get a tattoo, I would get veer away from these types of stereotype stains that have been smeared to their skin in a sickening fashion. I would be original. I would be unique. I would get something that meant something to me, but also was something that would keep me chuckling 70 years from now.

Here are a few good ideas:

• I could turn my entire front torso into a face. Put the eyeballs over my nipples, put the nose on my sternum, and make my belly button the gaping open mouth.
• I could put a blue stripe and a red stripe on my calf’s imitating the idea that I have knee-high socks on.
• I could get the entire Virginia Richmond Mission boundaries tattooed to my chest. Right next to my CTR shield. (For the record, if you do this, you are the epitome of a dimwitted schlemiel.)

There are plenty of different skin stains I can get, but I think the absolute best tattoo, would be about 6 inches below my belly button, a simple picture of a guy mowing a lawn.

Side view.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Buying New Glasses an Ordeal


Would you like to know about one of the most agonizing procedures ever known to man? Something about as frustrating as trying to chew on a piece of cotton candy? Something as irritating as a 2-year old nephew the day after Halloween? Well, I’ll tell you: Trying to pick out a new pair of glasses. 



Oh, the pain that ensues is worse than getting your armpit hair waxed by a group of savage females. I don’t think I would wish this curse upon anyone. And sadly enough, I had to go though this. 



You see, I “broke” my 21⁄2-year-old pair of glasses a few years back by snapping them in half after my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes lost a second consecutive national championship to the University of Florida Gators. I put off the process of actually getting a new pair because I knew what pain and suffering it would cause. 



Having a pair of glasses doesn’t really bother me. I actually enjoy having them. At times I feel very professional with them on, like I am accomplishing something in the world. And the fact that my 10-year-old little sister wears them and calls the two of us twins is another sweet benefit of them as well. 



So it’s not the actual wearing of the glasses that irritates me. And it’s not the eye exam that is the problem. Well, sort of. It gets kind of annoying having the eye doctor go through a million frames with that giant headdress-looking machine strapped to your face asking the question, “Now, which can you see out of better, this one, or this one?” about as many times that you want to grab the doc and scream, “FOR GOSH SAKES WOULD YOU JUST PICK A PRESCRIPTION BEFORE I ASK YOU WHICH SET OF PLATE-GLASS WINDOWS YOU CAN SEE OUT OF BETTER THAT I THROW YOU THROUGH!!!” 



Those aren’t the real issues at hand. The torture begins when they unleash you on the endless barrage of frames and say, “All right, go ahead, pick out your new face,” with a smile plastered on their mug about as fake as Pamela Anderson’s… I’ll just stop right there. That’s where the real anguish begins. 



It’s probably because there are so many options that make it difficult to begin with. And you feel like you have to try on every single one in the entire store because you don’t want to miss out on some pair that could make you the dynamo you really are. 

It is a truly complicated and grueling decision to make. If you think about it, it’s like picking out a new part of your face, sort of like if you were at a nose store, and you were going to buy a new nose. This is something that is going to be with you every single day, all the time, something that everyone is going to see. 

How tough is that? It’s like choosing which child you love more.

It’s a decision that is impossible to make. 

You start going through them all: the classic frames, the old-school frames, the clown-looking frames, the professional frameless frames, it never ends. And then you’re reminded of a pair of glasses that the one kid in my English class has, that are so good looking, and I want to wear those too. And then you find them, put them on, and you look like an absolute doofus wearing them. 



Another aspect that is so difficult about this decision-making process is that they have to match your personality as well. A wild, sanguine, happy-go-lucky individual with no regard for anything with the word serious in front of it has no business putting on the professional, stoic, frameless frames, and vice versa. So not only does this new face that you’re going to be wearing have to look good on you physically, it has to match the way you act around other people. This tormenting just never seems to end.



After a few days of poking around the store, I finally just closed my eyes and grabbed the first pair that I could get my hands on. It seemed about as reasonable as the previous 72 hours of time I had wasted in the store prior.

Do I look good? I have no idea. For some reason some old lady at a retirement home thinks I stole her old pair. I guess I turned into George Costanza.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I am a sinner


We are all bad people. All of us. Especially me.

I say this because we all have a knack for doing bad things. Taking candy from a baby, taking second glances at the porn carpet in Vegas, or cheering on the University of Michigan football team. Yes, we have all done bad things. And none of us are proud of our closet skeletons.

I, do bad things on an almost continual basis. A non-stopping occurrence. Things that happen over and over again, I should just about book my front-row seats on the shores of Hell as soon as the sand runs out on my physical existence. I have screwed up a lot. And I take the blame on everything that I’ve messed up.

Now screwing up in everyday life is one thing. But screwing up in church, that’s even worse. As I found out today.

So I was having a nonchalant conversation with two very intriguing members of the opposite sex; Whitley Davis, a star soccer player for Dixie State, and the very well-known/infamous Paige Conrow.

We were jawing about random things, candy for breakfast, life in Montana, and the visual image of my face when under pressure from constipation. Yes I know, it was an interesting conversation. The jabber shifted to where I was asked to speak in church next week with Whitley, and I was trying to convince Whitley that we would both do a great job.

I wish I had a way with words to express the physical motions that then occurred as I reached out my hand to give Whitley confidence that she would do a great job speaking next week.

As my hand stayed elevated at a certain elevation, in cupping shape I might add, an unknown Double-D female walked a thousandth of an inch away from my possible groping. Pulling my hand back, I was shocked, stunned, stunted at what had almost just happened.

I didn’t know what to say, what to do. Did she think that I was a pervert, a sexual predator in the hallway? Should I have apologized over and over again, or should I have said that I hoped it was as good for her as it was for me?

I didn’t know. I felt, what’s the word, embarrassed? Cheated? Disgusting? I don’t know. Meanwhile Paige and Whitley were literally on the floor laughing their kidneys out at the fact that I was at a mix between pleasure and pain with yet another sin on my shoulders. Bishop was motioning that I should have a seat in his office for a confession and discussion about repentance.

Hey, nobody’s perfect. Anyone who reads this blog knows for a fact that I’m not.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The (Almost) Perfect Season


One of the biggest failures in organized sports history has just occurred. And I am furious about it!

Over the past few weeks, I have been playing in a very intense softball league on the fields of St. George. And oh has it been an amazing season. Almost.

The Naked Gadgets, as our team has been called, was going to go down in history as one of the most recognized, legendary, and illustrious squads to ever take the field. As Ned Nedrlander, one of the notorious Three Amigo’s said, “In-Famous is when you’re MORE than famous. El-Guapo, he’s not just famous, he’s In-Famous.” We were In-Famous. We were the El Guapo’s.

We were going to be the only unblemished team in the St. George City Recreational Softball league. By unblemished, I meant that there would be a big “0” on our record. We would be spotless.

But that was all ruined this past Monday night on an atrocity that absolutely infuriated me.

Leading by two runs in the bottom of the third inning, one of our elite players hit a 2-run bomb to give us an 11-7 lead. The moron behind the plate said that we had just hit our third homerun of the game, when in actuality we had only hit two. (For the record, a team is only allowed three homeruns per game. Any homerun after that counts as an out.)

Everyone knew that we had only hit two homeruns. We knew it. The opposing team knew it. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig knew it. My buddy Niels’ wife’s little sisters dog knew it. And yet the jerk behind the plate stood his prideful ground and told our team that we had hit three.

This enraged our team captain Jake Butler, whose temper gets flared up just by not having enough sprinkles on his cupcake, and he decided to take it out on the ump, letting him know how brainless his logic was and how feeble his counting skills were.

Jake getting thrown out was the breaking point that led to our utter and complete downfall, and ruined our ‘perfect’ season. After that, we could not do a thing to save our reputation. We started hitting balls, making outs, playing like an organized team. For a few moments that night, the Naked Gadgets actually looked like a rag-tag band of athletes for three innings. We took a 21-8 lead going into the 5th inning and things were looking terrible!

Now we had dealt with this problem before. We had accepted defeat when we had the smell of victory in our nostrils. We once had a ten-run lead and the team came back to beat us 18-17. But no, tonight was just not our night, as the opposing team grounded out for two outs, and then hit a pop fly to left field to end the game.

Sadly, our record was now, 1-11.

From that moment on, we were not the ‘defeated’ team. We were no longer perfect. We would never ever be In-Famous. I was saddened after having got the first win of the season. Our team’s glory was tarnished, and we could never again be achieved.
The Naked Gadgets would no longer be known as the El Guapo’s.

For some reason that last sentence can be misinterpreted as a Sex Toy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I am an Indentured Servant


Why we pay attention to the depressing and disputing decades of generations past is something that I have no interest in whatsoever. And as a sophomore student, I would sit in a dull and dreary History class Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00-8:50 every week of my spring semester, I couldn’t help but lose track of my thoughts that were supposed to be directed in the path of the American Revolution, or the War of 1812.

As I stared at the pages of a textbook who knew how many centuries old, and long as well, I did however come to the conclusion of something that was similar in my life, as well of in hundreds, if not thousands of Americans from years past.

I am an indentured servant.

Being defined as someone who was under contract to a differing employer for a certain number of years, usually three to seven, an indentured servant was someone who received food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and anything else they needed for a period of time, when in fact, they would then be in debt to whomever they had signed a contract with for a number of years following. There were even legal contracts regarding being an indentured servant. It wasn’t an oral agreement just saying that you would work for someone for a period of time. This in fact, was an ultimate pinky promise, with you committing yourself to work, and signing at the bottom, all so that one day, you could be released and try to start a new life on your own.

Wasn’t that what I was? An indentured servant? As a student, I almost fell into the exact same category as those tough guys from the past. By signing a written, formal contract with FAFSA and Wells Fargo, I received the funds, through a student loan, to pay for my food, clothing, shelter, possible transportation, late night Dr. Pepper runs, cheap couches, bowling in Mesquite on the weekends, and anything else that a college student lives off of.

Subsidized interest rates being my friend is a benefit, and the contract not really taking effect until six months following my graduation, I would then be asked to repay the $13,455 dollars that the Government had loaned me for all of those late night cramming sessions, grilled cheese and ranch sandwiches, and tutoring sessions that I would store away for future memories.

With the economy being the way that it is, and the job market being something difficult for a Communication major to just pull a six-figure income out of nowhere from, I would be in debt to Wells Fargo for another 3-7 years, depending on how fast that I could pay off the subsidized student loan. Would that not in fact make me an indentured servant? Heck, I could have been harvesting tobacco in Richmond, Virginia as a Scottish immigrant in the early 1800’s for the same price if I had the chance.

And so as the paint dried slowly on the wall of Room 102, while I stared vacantly at professor who-gives-a-crap using polysyllabic words such as quixotic and sesquipedalian, to describe the settling of the original 13 American colonies, I often wondered if in fact I had any backdoor out of this grand scheme of modern indentured servitude that had been cast on me from Day One that I enrolled in college.

Maybe they did have some kind of stress relief back in the day for individuals who were in a very similar, semi-ridiculous situation as I was. But I really wouldn’t have gotten my stress relief if the only thing I could have done was throw sticks or chase after random dogs. That and kill the redcoats too.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lie to Me: Part II


So I lie. A lot. Is that a problem?

As seen from my last blog, ya’ll have been a witness to my adventures in deception and dishonesty. But it continues, at a consistent rate that I didn’t even know existed until the fabrications are spinning faster out of my mouth than Usain Bolt in a 100-meter dash.

Why do I lie? I really don’t know. I don’t have issues really. Well, besides the fact that I am a secret-schizophrenic (even that is a lie!). I’m not really trying to compensate for anything. Yes, my Dodge Caliber has a bigger engine than your Ford F-350. I really don’t know why I do it. All the time. And sometimes, it does indeed backfire.

Take for instance last night. So my dear friend Mark Roberts and I decided to go to dinner at Samurai 21, while a threesome of his dear girl friends tagged along. They were nice, sweet, physically attractive, and oh did I mention about as smart as a West Virginian eggplant? Yes, add that to their qualities.

I tried to make conversations. I tried to be nice. I asked one of the three what her plans were for the summer.

“Oh, I have cheer camp.” She said.

“Wow, that’s cool that you’re going to be a cheerleader for Dixie. Are you an incoming freshman?”

“No, I’m a junior.”

“Wow! That’s pretty neat. You look pretty young for a junior at Dixie State College.”

“No, no, no,” she cut me off. “I’m a junior at Dixie High School.”

I instantly paid more attention to the folds in my napkin than I did to the pre-pubescent creature tagging along.

I woke up a few minutes later from my ignoring phase as the blondes started asking me questions about my life, where I’m from, what I’m doing. This was where the lies started to unfold.

I told them that I had just moved into St. George the night before and met Mark at a party. I moved cross-country from Virginia Beach, Virginia. I didn’t really know much about the area or city. (May I note that I was wearing a Dixie State 2009 Homecoming T-shirt as I said this) I told them that I was working for the VDOT back east, and had received a job to work for UDOT over here.

“It’s because I like vowels better than consonants.” I said. The eggplants gave me blank stares back.

The cock-and-bull story continued as I asked them what a “Mormon” was. I had heard a few things about the religion when I was growing up in Virginia Beach and didn’t really know anything about them. I, of course, was a born and raised agnostic, and didn’t really care about any religion in the first place.

Their stares only got more blank as the deceitful vocabulary poured from my lips.

I kept the charade going for around 20 minutes asking them about “Mormonism” and who John Smith was, and why they all had 10 wives. This was all ruined when our dear hostess, the infamous Paige Conrow approached the table and put me to shame.

“Hey, do you have Tiana Heid’s phone number?” She said. “I need to get a hold of her so I can drop off the manual. She’s teaching Relief Society this Sunday and I have to get it back to her.”

From across the table the blonde eggplants blank stares turned into malicious glares as my fallacy unraveled and I looked like a complete buffoon.

Curse you Paige Conrow. Curse you!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lie to Me


Is lying to someone necessarily a bad thing?

In certain situations, I wouldn’t think so.

We have all lied before. Every one of us. Those who say that they have never lied before are no doubt lying through their teeth proclaiming that.

Lying is an art. Women do it about their weight, senior citizens about their age, jerk’s do about their bench press max, heck, I lie about the masculine scar on my chin that I got from my wild days as an extra in the movie “Fight Club.”

With that being said, for those who read my “M-word” rant a few weeks ago, understand my frustration with the Utah Mormon culture stating that if you don’t have a spouse by the age of 25, then you are a menace to society.

By that definition, I am that menace.

Enter into the equation my dear old Uncle Scott Watterson. Now I love this man. He’s a great influence, and has helped me through a lot of ups and downs in my life. But I want to clobber the man’s molars out of the back of his head with a wooden boat paddle every time I see him. Simply because every other word out of his mouth is stressing about how I need to find my “eternal companion.”

Besides that we’re best friends.

Here is just one of the many stories that will help you understand my feelings, as well as see the magnificence of fabrication.

Last night I was at a family get-together and within the first 26 seconds that I had greeted my great Uncle Scott, he had already brought up the point that I was still single and should still be looking.

I had already checked out of the evening’s conversation.

After around 45 minutes of continual barraging from his side, and after he had asked me to go get yet another girls number, I turned to him and said,

“Well the thing is, Uncle Scott, the reason why I don’t want to go over and talk to that girl is because, well, I’ve actually been dating a girl now for about three weeks, and I just didn’t really want to be put on the spot.”

“Really?” He said. Shocked, chagrined, overwhelmingly pleased. “Tell me about her.”

“Well, her name is Paige Conrow, (yet another reference) she’s an RN from Murray, I met her at an appointment I had about 3 weeks ago for my seizures, and things have been going well ever since.” I said as my snake-like tongue shriveled back and forth in deception.

“That’s great!” He said. “I’m so happy for you! That is wonderful. You’ll have to keep me posted on how things keep going with her.”

“Of course I will.” I said.

If you ask me, this was not such a bad usage of deceptive vocabulary. I had pleased his attempts at my pursuit of a wife, as well as shut him up for the night. Is it a sin? Was it wrong? Should I be punished for my errors in honesty?

Last night though, I don’t think I was the only one who was lying. As the great Homer Simpson said, “It takes two to lie. One to lie, and one to listen.”

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Those were the days...


I have come to a conclusion about my life thus far. I’m getting old. Really, really old. Now for those of you who have been on the earth longer than three decades, you are probably scoffing at me being aged. But hear me out; I am serious. Being a whopping 25 years old, I am starting to get up there in the wrinkling ages. 



The other night I was sitting around with my little sister/next door neighbors kicking back, flipping through the channels, enjoying some chips and guacamole, when suddenly I had an epiphany about our relationship with one another. 



“You know, I feel kind of like Sam on ‘Clarissa Explains It All,’” I said, referring to my random intrusion into their apartment and how relaxed everything is between us. 



Their response of “Who the heck is that?” and “What show are you talking about?” totally set me back. They didn’t know what I was referring to. Not only had they never heard about the show, they thought I was making the whole thing up, claiming that long before Melissa Joan Hart was known as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, she was made famous on a Snick show. 



There’s another thing that made me feel overly mature. Neither one of them had any idea what Snick was. The Saturday night Nickelodeon kids-staying-up-late broadcasting experience was something completely foreign to them. They never heard of shows like “Salute Your Shorts,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “Ren and Stimpy,” “Aaaaahhh, Real Monsters” and my all-time favorite, “The Great Adventures of Pete and Pete.” How old am I getting here to have grown up on these shows and nobody else knows what they are?



It’s not just the television aspect that adds on to my elderly irony. The things we played with only worsen it, things like Giga Pets, Ninja Turtles, and the best invention of all time, Pogs. Pogs easily were the greatest invention to ever have been born. And I’ll tell you what, I had one heck of a collection with quite a few wicked “slammers.”


I referenced the awesomeness of Pogs the other day in my Public Speaking class, and almost all of the kids gave me blank stares back confused at what in the world I was talking about. I know that this was a fad that came out when I was in 6th grade, and the majority of these kids probably hadn't been conceived yet, but still, Pogs are infamous! Not just famous, in famous...

And when we as kids got tired of the giant Pog wars day after day, we would forecast each other’s future with a M.A.S.H. prophecy that would tell what kind of house we would live in, who our spouse was, what kind of car we would drive, and how many kids we would have. I’m still holding on to the prediction that I am going to live in a mansion, marry Krystle Bailey, drive a Porsche, and have 15 kids. Hey, it is still going to happen. 



Those were the days, I tell you, those were the days. Back when I got my very first Walkman for Christmas and when “Hey Macarena” was the single of the year. And here I am now, a boring old professor trying to reminisce about all those classic days, and the "kids" are mocking me, saying I am too old. 


If you ask me, the age they grew up in is a complete waste of time. All they do is sit around on Facebook and get on their X-Box 360 and play “Halo” while having multiple text messaging conversations with their electronic boy/girlfriends. 


All of that is too complicated and not as memorable as the age that I grew up in. Maybe I am too old, but who cares? Those were the glory days. A utopian society. The only thing I can do now is just close my eyes and dream about the days when I would lace up my light-up L.A. Gears, pop open a Fruitopia, and get ready to play night games with the rest of the kids on my street. Oh, those were the days...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The M-word




I am a pretty easygoing guy, I think. Usually anyone can talk to me just about anything, even something borderline offensive, and I can just brush it off with no problem. But I swear, if one more person in this world asks me about the M-word, I will explode. 



The M-word is something that you will rarely hear me mention on a positive note. For those who have listened to my casual rants about life, and this culture specifically, have most likely heard my negative disposition for what is known in our world, as the M-word. I know you have Paige...

Can I get an amen from the congregation? Because I know there are countless handfuls of single residents applauding the way that I feel. All of you know what I am talking about… The nauseating, wretched persecution that we as non-committed people deal with day after day after day after day is pushing me to the point where I am about to declare myself single for life and tattoo it to my forehead so I don’t get any more stupid questions.



It is ridiculous that every time I call home, every time that I start up a conversation with someone, or every time that I talk to one of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, sisters, brothers-in-law, best buddies, baby nieces, puppies, or imaginary friends, the first thing they want to know is when they can be expecting a new member of the family, who my next lucky prospect is, or how soon I will be asking a blind date to wed. Um, yeah, I think I’m going to wait and make sure that she is a girl first….



Even if I am just formally introduced to someone brand new, the first question I am asked (after my name) goes something like this, “So, how’s the dating life, you have any prospects?” or “When can I expect an invitation coming along in the mail, eh?” or “You look like a fine young man, how come there isn’t a nice young woman attached to your arm?” Oh, I don’t know, probably because I’m not ready to get M-worded yet, and I’m not a Siamese twin either!



It is even more ridiculous when I have been out on a date with a girl more times than one, and I pull in at night after our second or third date, and my buddies automatically assume that I’m making plans for the M-word and start asking if she is "the one." And when she can be expecting some nice big rock on her finger. Not at least until I find out what her last name is, for crying out loud! Can’t you see I didn’t go to Jared?!



And that’s just the beginning of the entourage of irritation and persecution that I and many other unwed single adults are going through in this day and age. I can’t imagine what guys who are older than me are dealing with. I’m only 25 and am almost halfway pushed to be jumping off the Udvar-Hazy building. I have a single cousin who was pushing 30 when he got tied down, an uncle who lasted until 35, and it boggles my mind to think that they lasted that long with all the bullying and discrimination pressuring them from all angles. 



Why can’t people ask us different questions dealing with our lives? Why does every single stupid non-important conversation with anyone have to start out with something about the M-word? Why can’t they ask us questions like, “How’s school going down south?” or “What are your plans for the summer?” or “What type of doughnut would you say is your favorite?” Anything besides the infuriating inquiry about our unmarried existence is better. 



It’s not that I absolutely hate the M-word and am going to start a strike against M-word couples. I’m sure the M-word is an overall wonderful thing to be a part of and is something everybody should probably have the opportunity to enjoy at least once in their lives. It’s just that with a divorce rate above 50 percent in the country, I would like to take longer than 30 seconds to decide who my lifetime companion is going to be. 



I’m sure the first question that I am going to be asked from anybody after this blog comes out is when I am going to throw away my bachelor life and settle down with a nice, sweet young woman. It’s not going to make a difference if I keep trying to put up a fight against the M-word.

I’ll probably already be engaged by the time you get done reading this.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thanks, Dad...


So what is the secret to being a good father?

Don't ask me, I can't even find a wife yet.

As the sun sets on yet another June holiday filled with cheap ties, new drills, and breakfast In bed, all of us seemed to have taken a few moments and remembered the Dad's in our lives. The ones who would play catch in the backyard with us, teach us how to ride bikes, tell us stories late at night while tucking us in, and everything else cliche' about what defines a Father.

But it's more than just those stereotypes that makes our own Dad's who they are. We all know this. We all grew up with the unique traits and characteristics that chiseled out who our Dad's were, and are, and will be for whoever knows how long. Small things. Things that nobody else understands. Things that only relate to us. Things that make no sense in the eyes of someone else, but are perfectly clear to us. Those are the things that we are all grateful for. I know I am. My Dad was one unique guy himself. He had those things.

Things like eating a bunch of Oreo cookies, plastering them all over his mouth then turning to a crowd with a big smile on his face and saying "Is there anything in my teeth?". Or jamming out to "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Rolling Stones and then explaining to me, awkwardly that the song is about Prostitution. (We didn't jam out to that song anymore for some reason after that.) Or cheering on the Buckeyes every year. Yes, my Dad is the reason that I bleed crimson and grey.

My Dad was a great man. A great big boob if you ask me. Ironic that I give him that nickname despite the fact that I have 11 sisters, I'm just saying this because he would get emotional and break down in tears after seeing a motivational Nike commercial. Trust me, he did. On multiple occasions.

The man was a wrestler. That didn't go well with me being the 6'5" basketball junkie that I am. It didn't really bother me that he grew up getting all tangled up with other sweaty guys for hours on end, the thing that got me was the fact that this two-time Wrestling State runner-up could beat me one-on-one in my sport with a pathetic hook shot and meager three point jumper, day in and day out. I don't know what it is about never being able to beat your Dad.

He was a great man in my eyes. And always will be. It's been over six years now since depression, a sour job turn and shotgun cartridge erased him from my existence. But those memories of him will always stay strong with me. Especially when I jam out to Honky Tonk Woman and cheer on the Buckeyes.

So wherever your Dad is, thank him. I sure will.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jogging is Satan's Form of Exercise


I know that over the years I have written a few columns regarding the many things in my life that annoy or perturb me, i.e. cinnamon bears, bottled water, the state of North Dakota. I have also written an equal number of columns about things that absolute confuse and perplex me, i.e. math, female communication, late-night chat rooms. 



However, if there is one thing that without a doubt, hands down, no questions asked, bothers and confuses me almost as much as country music being played while I’m taking a geometry quiz about the dimensions of a Rubik’s Cube, I would easily say it is the disgusting concept of jogging. 



Oh, just saying that word makes me as sick to my stomach and wanting to vomit in multiple directions as if I had heard the slightest compliment about the University of Michigan. People who in their right mind, or rather demonically possessed lunatic mind, think running is beneficial in any way shape or form are individuals who are completely from another planet or have about as much common sense as a house plant.


I am sure if you were to look up the definition in the dictionary it would say, “jogging: an absolute and complete 100 percent waste of time for individuals who have no more than 50 working brain cells stuck in their dense head and are trying to be some type of athlete,” with a picture of someone with the most horrific gut-wrenching face to give an illustration of what a runner really looks like.



Runners in general are individuals who are about as out there and goofy as Carrot Top or the creator of "Spongebob Squarepants." Why would someone think getting up at 4 a.m., in the dead of winter, at 50 degrees below, would burn off a few extra calories? Or to think that doing wind sprints in the muggy heat of August, in triple digit temperatures, with humidity coating their skin just to get an extra workout in is going to help them at all? 



It won't! Trust me, I know! I'm still fat!

Now running around town to look at scenery is one thing. But the concept of the treadmill is something twice as stupid. To just stand in place for blocks of time, running, yet not moving whatsoever, makes no sense. How boring is that?! Almost as fun as watching an episode of Gray's Anatomy. Honestly, who gets enjoyment out of running on a treadmill? I do hope that my uncle, the inventor of the treadmill, doesn’t get a hold of this blog or I’m in some serious trouble. 



Now while you’re running, the pain and agony only increases with every single step. Dry throat, sore muscles, sweat in the eyes, is there anything a runner can enjoy during the process? They say they hit some type of wall, and they only can get in better shape by bursting through that wall. How is that appealing? It makes no sense!



And how does that sound fun?

 It doesn't!

To this day I have yet to find anything good or first-rate about the concept of running. Call me a discriminator, but running just doesn’t perform any benefit besides a good solid case of shin splints. 



Sunday, June 13, 2010

The one-uppers


Every single one of us has a one-up man in our lives. A topper. An I’m-better-than-you-are-and-I’m-going-to-rub-it-in-your-face individual. They exist consistently and will never go away. Don’t know what a one-up man is? Exhibit A:

Me: I had a late night last night. Heck, I didn’t even get to bed until 2 in the morning. I just couldn’t sleep.

One-up Man: Oh yeah, well I had a late night too, and I didn’t even get to bed until 3 in the morning! I’m way more tired than you are!

Me: Dang, that’s a late night. It sucked this morning too. I had to get up at 6 to open for work.

One-up Man: Oh yeah, well I had to get up and open for MY work too! AND I had to get up at 5! So that means I went to bed later, and got up earlier too!

See my point.

We all have one-up individuals in our lives. I know. There’s one specifically that I’m referencing here. I’m not going to mention any names or anything, cough cough, but I think that those who are reading this and know who I am, might be able to know who I’m referring to. We all have them though. We all know them. If you don’t know any, then according to Dane Cook, maybe you are that one-up individual.

Now why do these different one-up personalities exist? Why are there people who have to top each others stories? Why have one-up individuals caught much bigger fish than the rest of us?

Who knows. I sure don’t.

(Right now I’m almost expecting a one-up man to interject this blog and say, ‘I do! I do! I know the answer!)

I’m sure you do…

Is it low self-esteem? Are they trying to compensate for something? Are they thinking that if they’re better than us at playing the piano, snowboarding the moguls, making country gravy, crocheting a blanket, doing Yoga, and text messaging left-handed, that makes them overall better people?

Heck, they probably think that they are better at blowing their noses

One up man: “See, see, my tissue has more boogers on it than yours does.”

They’re all out there. We know them. They exist in flocks. Chasing after us, hunting us down like predators to rub in our faces how they ran a 100-meter dash in 8.1 seconds in 112-degree heat, how they climbed Mt. Everest backward in 6 days while balancing a Russian tea set on candy cane totem poles, or how they shot a 17-point elk with a slingshot, ping pong ball, and a gummy worm.

They exist. The toppers. The one-uppers. The I’m better-than-you’s. I’ll just be waiting for someone to write a blog and then message me saying, “Have you read my blog yet? It’s amazing. It’s better than yours, and I did it with a typewriter in 20 minutes poking the keys with only two fingers.

Yeah, I know. You’re better than me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Big Words just for show-offs


There are many things about growing up that I am not looking forward to. Along with taxes, mortgages, root canals and C-sections, adulthood appears to be a pain in the neck. One of the main things that I am a tad bit nervous about also, is the use of big words.

Yes, you read that correctly. Big words, or in adult terms, copious vocabulary, is something that confuses me beyond all belief. Apparently once you cross the border of adolescent juvenility to ripened maturity, that is when you begin to use words that are massively polysyllabic. See, there I go myself, I am turning into the substantial statement spewing monster that I am sarcastically scorning.

Big words are an intimidating terror that baffles people into a colossal state of confusion. Words like troglodyte, fantasmagoric, charlatan, or supercalifragilisticexpialodocious are such vocabulary terminology that perplex people into an annoying migraine. Words that make someone want to play tag with a porcupine, or leap frog with a unicorn.

Now why do people say such things? Such enormous expressions evolving from their mouths. Is there a reason that once you hit adulthood your language transforms into this new-fangled inventory that so confuses the youth? Do you want to know why? It’s the reason that people are trying to look smart I tell you. Saying words that nobody else can understand makes them think that they are on some kind of intelligent plateau that no one else can reach them on.

For example, I was at a recent meeting surrounded by adults who clad themselves with language and terminology that no one else could understand, all while their noses were pointed high in the sky, proud at the fact that they are speech geniuses.

Now I know that I'm not the the wisest guy out there, but I do feel that I have a fairly decent understanding of “big kids” conversations. But hold the phone Dora with this group of prudent pompous people, I was out in left field as they spoke in what sounded like a jibberish articulating extraterrestrial from one of Saturn’s moons’, one that was mumbling in German at that!

I am not the only one who feels like big words are a hairy predicament for students our age preparing to move into the adult way of life. Take for instance freshman Steve Malmberg, who said, “I think it’s so dumb when older guys (and girls) say such big things. What are they trying to do? Make all of us look stupid?”

He does have a point, and he even expresses it with such simplicity from his oral orifice.

All in all, big words are an atrocious alarm that leaves myself and such other students in a load of apprehension. You as a reader may find it somewhat ironic that littered throughout this blog are words that half of the English majors on campus can’t even pronounce let alone understand. However even more ironic is the fact that the word Hippotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is defined as the fear of long words.

Yeah, try saying that five times fast.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What makes a man?



What makes a man?

Good question eh? Why don’t you ask Wikipedia?

There are far too many categories of manhood that help classify someone as a smorgasbord of toughness. This being said, a man is not just someone that has the words testosterone, but not estrogen, in their vocabulary as well as in their bodies.

Growing up I was told that there are three different types of “Men.” Man A: a man who understands absolutely everything about the components of an engine. Man B: a man that can stalk, hunt, and kill any type of animal. And then, Man C: a man that is an absolute sports junkie who could tell you the last 25 A.L. Pennant winners and Super Bowl Champs.

Certainly there are different components that make up what a guy is. A guy is someone that doesn’t worry about whether the toilet seat is up or down. Someone who gets far too excited about watching things go “BOOM!” Someone that doesn’t care if their pants match their shoes.

Guys are creatures that lounge around in absolutely nothing but a pair of basketball shorts all day long and not feel guilty about it at all. Guys eat a double cheeseburger at 1 a.m. and don’t worry about if any of it is going to their thighs. Guys don’t ask people for directions when they’re lost. Guys grow beards and pretend to be the Brawny man or Paul Bunyan.

A man’s euphoria is displayed over a good plate of nachos. A man loves seeing how many gummy bears they can stuff in their mouths on a Saturday night after drinking a 24-pack of Mountain Dew. Men love watching four hours of SportsCenter a day and being entertained throughout all of the highlights.

I’ve always wondered what the “true” definition of what being a man was. I was given more of an understanding this weekend though as Bryan, Mark, Jeremiah, Nate and myself drove out to New Castle (not White Castle) for what could be classified as a “manly” weekend.

We fished, we laughed, we shot at Eli birds that for some reason had a protective shell around them to spite men with guns. This bird also set up fishing line traps to spite the surrounding hunters. We talked about a variety of manly entertaining movies, which of course did not include Brokeback Mountain. We were men for the past 24 hours, and you could hear us roar.

When it came to what we all thought was a man, we did have differing viewpoints on how to be as masculine as possible.

Bryan’s definition of being a man was tracking, hunting down, and blowing the jaw off of a cottontail rabbit with .22 caliber rifle.

Jeremiah’s definition of being a man was skinning Bryan’s rabbit with a plastic fork, while attempting to lure crawdads in with chicken hearts and gizzards, a Chuck Norrisesque feat.

Nate’s definition of being a man was… well, drinking some type of cayenne pepper-lemon rind concoction that was supposed to “cleanse his system.”

As for Mark and myself? Well, our definition of being men was discussing last week’s Glee episode over the campfire, and being shocked that Rachel’s Mom was the leader of Vocal Adrenaline.

Alright, maybe that would be um, the Q Man…

Oh and by the way, 14 is NOT the new 17.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The joys of being a kid are fading...


After having a full-time four years of college under my belt, I somewhat have an edge of confidence about me, for the “grown-up” that I am turning into. I am turning into an adult. I am letting go of that little kid mentality that I had played in my hand since Day One. But do I really want to do this?

Getting older is just another step in life, and as of late, I am not so excited to walk down this aging path. Turning 25 recently was not a big a deal, I know. I have had bigger thrills in my life, like the time I ran naked down a set of train tracks while being chased by the cops. Not as big of a transition as I tentatively thought it would be. On "the big day" I got the usual forced awkward happy birthday wishes from disgruntled employees singing off-key at Iggy's Sports Bar and Grill, which I am always a fan of. Other than that, I simply walked around town, the gym it seemed, with an extra spring in my step being one year older. But along with that I was stuck at the fork wondering if being older really was “better.”

As the years go by and my facial hair gets thicker and coarser, I can't help but think about all the things that I will most likely be missing out on because I have to “grow up.” No more Saturday morning cartoons and faces covered in maple syrup from six helpings of French toast. No more building forts out of blankets that span the entire living room or time machines made out of cardboard boxes that have warp-speed capability. No more seeing how many pieces of Bazooka Joe gum I could fit in my mouth just because my best friend dared me to.

Playing baseball in the street long after the sun has gone down and my parents have called you in three times, that seemed to be out of the question. No more playing hot lava in my living room, jumping from couch cushion to couch cushion to avoid the ferociously molten rock shag carpet. No more eating 5 pounds of candy Halloween night and waking up the next morning with the excitement of a hummingbird, no sign of a caffeine headache in sight. No more wearing underwear on my head as a helmet while I explored the mystery caverns of a far off planet somewhere in my basement's imagination. No more going on a safari in search of an endangered hippopotoceratops hiding somewhere in my backyard. No more not caring about what the words “interest rate” or “expenditures” meant. No more building the world's premier photon torpedo bazooka out of a pillow, a water bottle and an old shoestring. No more sword fights with the cardboard tubes at the center of wrapping paper. No more having names for my stuffed animals.

It's as if all of that is coming to an end day by day, class by class, job by job. All of my childhood memories were being loaded into the scrapbook emporium of things that I would never ever experience again, and I will soon enough be getting after my own children for their goofball accomplishments. Things such as sterilizing themselves from cootie contamination after touching anything girl-related. Or playing video games for 17 hours straight and not being tired in the least degree when they are done. Staring at the T.V. aimlessly wondering if Wile E. Coyote is ever going to catch the Roadrunner. Or making up stories to my wife about how a polka dotted three-headed flying skunk threw their baseball through their living room window. Am I going to miss those things? The bike rides to the gas station on hot summer days to splurge on a diet of 7-Up, gummy worms and Oreo cookies and not feeling guilty about how many calories I was consuming? Let alone, not even knowing what a calorie is in the first place. Pillow fights with my best friend at 3 a.m. in our weekly tree house sleepover. The secret clubs with the secret password being “boys rule, girls drool.” Or what about sticking up my parents, wearing a pair of old nylons over my face so mom and dad would'nt recognize who I was. Is it all a sham now?

Time goes on and things begin to change: bowl cuts to baldness; sugar frosted cocoa bombs to Shredded Wheat, Spiderman tighty-whiteys to silk boxers. The glorious days of being a kid are left behind to embrace a world full of taxes, insurance payments and 401 K's. The stereotypical Toys “R” Us clich├ęs like I don't want to grow up or anything typical like that are not something that I was banking on. But I think to myself as the years go by, jobs are taken, bills are paid and memories are forgotten. I may have to mature and become a responsible adult, but dang I am going to miss being a kid, the days where nothing matters, the days where monsters lived in the closet and under the bed. The days where Kool-Aid and Skittles were an ample food supply, the glory days of being a kid.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Golf?


Wait, golf? What was I thinking?

I wasn’t

Almost all of you have heard my rants on things that I just do not understand whatsoever. Water bottles, Guys in pink shirts, Spongebob Squarepants, you know the gist. Golf however, can be added to my anti-activity list of things that I will never grasp or appreciate. And those feelings were only confirmed yesterday when I made multiple attempts to hit a small white dimpled thing into a hole 4.25 inches wide, 300 yards away.

Growing up, my Dad was an insane golfer. INSANE! This was a man who would snowplow the greens in December to get a few putting sessions in. A man who had the Royal Greens clubhouse as the only phone number on his speed dial. A man who was late for his own funeral simply because he had a tee time that morning and was trying to squeeze in the back 9 before the eulogy was read. Yeah, he loved golf that much.

Now coming from my 6-and-a-half foot tall perspective, golf just wasn’t my thing. I never understood how people got enjoyment from hitting things all over the place and then walking to hit them again. I couldn’t figure out how to “read greens” or how to use a pitching wedge 30 yards out. I didn’t really know why a bunch of old guys liked to play with their little balls all day long (no pun intended.)

Don’t ask me what I was thinking as we teed up yesterday. Maybe it was because I was trying to be part of the X-Club golfing extravaganza, or that I owed Holland a favor for a few things that I’m not proud of. Heck, I probably had been smoking pot that morning, which in turn motivated me to lace up and tee off.

Three hours, nine lost balls, and a broken axle on the golf cart later, I confirmed my abhorrence for the Tiger Woods pastime. And no I am not referring to hookers and a beat up Escalade.

I was Tin Cup plus Happy Gilmore. The Dwight Howard of the 19th hole. A man who confused golfing with croquet. I was a maniac. I thought I did pretty well out there. I think I shot a 36? 37? And then on the second hole I shot a 31? Something like that. It was such a catastrophe that by the 5th hole, I simply started using nothing but the six iron. To tee off, chip, putt, wave around in madness, and smack myself in the face with. Well, that and my hand wedge…

The way I was looking at it, I was looking for a bowling score out there, and trying to get the highest score. And I did. Heck I shot so well I broke 100 on 9 holes. Which in golfing terms is something viewed at in almost a reverse perspective. Either way, I was on fire. Holland put it best when he said If I was going to pay the 19 bucks to be out there, I might as well try and take as many shots as possible.

I thought I did pretty well at that

Maybe I just haven’t been bred for the sport of golf. I know that my 93-year old three-fingered great grandpa hits a tee shot with a putter further than I probably will ever drive period. Maybe it’s the basketball shorts that I would wear that separates me from the real golfers. Yeah, that has to be it. The fashion. My lack of nipple high slacks and plaid collared shirts with a goofy beret makes it so that I don’t fit into the golf world. The fashion is my Achilles heel in this whole thing.

Somewhere, my Dad is shaking his head.

Monday, May 3, 2010

WoW, Where has the Time Gone?

So I used to have an interesting roommate. This was a kid who was captain of the geek squad. No exaggeration; he had failed to leave his room longer than five minutes.

Since the day he moved in he had worn the same ragged red T-shirt and olive green khaki shorts. To my knowledge, the guy lived off caffeinated soda and chicken fingers. As I passed his room every day I would poke my head in to see what kept him glued to his computer screen. I don’t even think he noticed that I dropped in, he was so captivated by the game he played. 


After a few days of poking and prodding I finally found out what kept him kicked out of socialistic reality. It’s a game called “World of Warcraft.”
Now forgive my ignorance when it comes to the culture of video gaming. Growing up in a communist household I was banned from anything Nintendo-related. Mario and Luigi were about as welcome as the KKK in my home. So when as a sophomore on campus I was invited to a “Halo” party, my interpretation of it was far skewed than what it actually was. The idea of a throng of college-aged guys loaded up on Mountain Dew and gummy worms playing a first-person shooter game into the next day for some reason didn’t appeal to me. 


However, video-gaming has continued to grow and take over the digital and fantasy worlds in this day and age, especially the game “World of Warcraft.” From what I’ve heard this is a game that is the cat’s meow when it comes to RPGs. (For the latecomer, that stands for role playing game. It’s OK; I had to look that up just for this blog.) Apparently the makers of the game envisioned it to be one of the most successful games ever created with the hopes of possibly 1 million gamers registered for it. Now that’s one heck of a lot of time sitting on your butt glued to a TV or computer screen.


A buddy of mine said it appeals to gamers for specific reasons. 
“The reason that I like it so much is the fact that it is such a realistic game,” he said. “Yeah, it’s based in a fantasy world, but it is so actual that you really feel like you are in the game.” 


Realistic, I can buy that. I can see what he means. I mean, I’m usually casting spells on a three-headed dragon all while riding a winged griffin across a purple sea on campus. Realistic? Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. 


Going along with this “real-live” action-packed, digitally-created world is the online version of the world that is beginning to be a trend all over, where each person can create what are called Avatars (not the nine-foot tall James Cameron alien creatures) and then live a real-live simulated life online. 
The thing that gets me the most is that you pay actual money to be involved in this. Say you want a new digital car: It could cost you about $25-40. If you’re looking to up your appearance as a female, throw down around $125 for a J-Lo body, full digital D cups and all.

The thing that is most outrageous to me is the idea of purchasing online real estate, which people do. The fact that someone is paying real, bona fide, hard-earned cash for a group of ones and zeroes online organized as imitation Internet real estate is a joke. 


That same game-addicted buddy said: “I had a buddy of mine in high school who actually spent about $250 a month on this kind of stuff. He had no life except for the Avatar and digital world that he created for himself.”


Am I wrong to think that video games are making a pathetic attempt at taking over the world? Well, at least the online and video game world currently. In reading this, are a bunch of die-hard avid gamers going to create an Avatar for me and then torture me digitally until I admit that being a gamer is truly an ideal lifestyle? I’m shaking. That’s OK, though, I just bought a double-headed battle axe and a magic staff with invisibility powers for $30 each online, so bring it on…

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Awkward...

Awkward. That is the best singular word I can use to describe the 57-minute flight I just walked off of. It is almost that airlines in today’s society are designing trips for passengers under that fashion only. Awkward. Nothing but.

Airlines initiate your trip in that manner from the very beginning as you are removing your belt, shoes, watch, earrings, glasses, necklaces, fillings, pacemakers and metal plates from the left side of your head before you pass through the doorway of death and its annoying beep, pointing you out to the rest of the airport that you could possibly have a handgun made out of tinfoil gun wrappers. Awkward. Yes, I know.

This continues on as you are then awarded the 18 inches of cubic space that they call your seat. I honestly don’t know how some people fit in those things, myself included! As you try and proportionate your body into some difficult yet random position you have an upset Grandmother giving dirty looks from behind as you keep bumping her seat, meanwhile a drop dead gorgeous girl from your Comm 3220 class laughs at your clumsiness in the seat next to you.

Move to facing the front of the plane while the stewardess babbles on a hundred words a second of instruction into the microphone that no one on the entire plane including the pilot himself has any clue what she just said about keeping your table in the upright position with your seatbelt fashioned as we take off. Or did she say please label tight possums with a deep welt in passions sake? Is this flight getting even more awkward?

Try and shift your focus to a more positive direction than in your crammed position, pull out the SkyMall magazine in hopes of finding some kind of neat gadget or device that can entertain hopes of purchasing for at least 7 minutes. While thumbing through the pages you only feel more and more awkward looking at things such as a neon-light underwater children’s keyboard, and an atomic world time watch that can even pass the LSAT along with telling time. Of course I can’t afford 9 payments of $99.99 to purchase things like that or a voice-activated R2-D2 robot designed specifically to keep ice cream from melting!

There is something even more awkward about sitting on an airplane; opening up to the person next to you. It is beyond me why you do not care one bit about personal seclusion and privacy while on a flight. For some reason every single awkward individual imaginable wants to tell the most tiny and unimportant life stories to you while in the air. So thank you Gail, from Nibley, who lives on a farm with llama’s and alpaca’s, while her husband with 12 fingers works on writing a book about the history of the toothpick. My life is more enriched now because of that information.

Awkward. That is all there is to it. Between the handfuls of peanuts, cramped layout of bathroom, and annoyance of two-year olds sitting on their mom’s laps the entire time screaming that they want a fruit roll up all flight long, I have come to the conclusion that anything about flying puts a sour taste in my mouth even if it cuts any travel time in half.

However, I must say that the most awkward thing about the entire trip was as the pilot was making introductions about the flight to myself and the rest of the other passengers, when he made the actual statement, and I quote.

“I’m going to turn the time over to your smoking hot flight attendant Sammy right now.”

I looked up from where I was sitting anticipating what the pilot had previewed, when as I did, I stared right back into Sammy’s eyes gazing longfully into mine.

Sammy was a guy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nice Guys Finish Last

That is it! I have had it! I am at the end of my rope! In the words of the legendary gothic Alice Cooper, “No More Mr. Nice Guy!”



Now I am no Dr. Love as we have had in semesters past, and I normally don’t spend 7-inch high columns discussing the affairs of the heart, but I definitely have some beef to throw down this week. 



One of the most confusing, gargantuan enigmas that is baffling my brain this week is the fact that in this day and age, to romance the heart of a girl, I have to be the most inconsiderate, thoughtless, selfish jerk ever created. Only then will the ladies begin to fall for me. At least that seems to be the case. 



Now after being raised by 11 sisters in a home overloaded with estrogen, I figured I had some sort of advantage with the ladies. Or at least some sort of special insight as to how they work and what they want. Apparently that is not the case. 



I have tried it all. I have tried opening the doors, pulling out the chairs, paying for the meals, and everything else in between being respectful to the opposite sex. I have even done the I’ll-shutup-and-listen-to-everything-you-say-to-prove-that-I-care routine. But it makes no difference! It doesn’t matter. Girls don’t seem to care that I care. Girls just want a jerk. 



Girls, please correct me if I am (hopefully) wrong. You say you want someone who is a little bit sensitive, someone who listens to you, someone whose life doesn’t revolve around how big his truck is or how massive the buck he shot last week was. That is total bull. All of that talk about sensitive listening guys gets shoved back in my face when a short guy in a lifted F-350 and a four-pointer drives up and whistles at her booty. 



Guys these days have no respect for girls whatsoever, not in the least bit. They don’t care about how she feels about something or how she wants to be treated. All they care about is “getting a piece” this weekend then bragging about it to their buddies. Forget about actually caring about a girl. Women are just there for physical entertainment and apartment cleaners.

Call me old-fashioned, but that’s not the way women should be looked at. They are not supposed to be viewed as an icon off a Playboy cover or a slave trapped in a kitchen catering to a man’s every need. Women are supposed to be treated like queens, with us the men, the protectors, being there to take care of them, not the other way around. And if you think that it’s girly for a guy like me to have this set of values, you have a big problem. One who is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds to be specific. 



And if you think that I’m writing this column to get a date you’re absolutely wrong again. If a girl is only looking for big trucks and Gold’s Gym muscles, how is a two-column opinion piece from a non-meathead journalist going to make the slightest difference? 



You think I am expecting a throng of girls to parade my office saying, “You are so wrong Brock, I want a sensitive guy who will listen to me and will care about what I’m doing with my life. Let’s go out.” I don’t think so. 



And so it begins… I am going to be the biggest jerk from now on in order to get girls. No respect, insults aplenty, a complete disregard for what girls “really care about.” I am going to go buy the biggest truck I can find, put the biggest tires on it, get the biggest lift I can get, shoot the biggest buck in all of Utah, and then go up to a crowd of girls and brag about all of the cool stuff I have now. Problem is, I’ll probably still be stuck where I am now: single and confused.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day a Waste of Time

I think that this upcoming Sunday has got to be one of the most depressing days in the history of the world. I'm referring to the day we're all experiencing at the moment, Valentine’s Day, also known by the much more appropriate name, Singles’ Awareness Day.

See, the problem with SAD, ironic that the acronym is sad, is that if you don't have someone to love on this day overly bombarded by Necco conversation hearts and red and pink cardboard cutouts of Cupid, you feel like the No. 1 biggest loser ever created. You walk around seeing all the delivered flowers and romantic couples, and you can't help but feel like either vomiting or eating a boatload of ice cream to compensate for not having someone to say corny names like “boo-boo kitty face” to.

It's as if the whole world is pointing a finger at you saying, “HA! You don't have a significant other to surprise you with flowers, kisses and stuffed bears made out of chocolate. So I'm going to stand here all day making fun of you, you worthless, non-committal stay-at-home-on-a-Saturday-night-and-eat-Doritos-until-you-puke pathetic excuse of a wannabe Valentine’s lover!” Can you see how painful this must be to some people?

Why is there a holiday dedicated to being in love? This goes against everything moral and right that exists in the free world. Why can't there be a holiday focused on being single? Like National No Relationship Pride Day, that sounds like a pretty good holiday to me. We need a day where everyone just sits around and relishes in the fact that we all don't have to be involved with someone else and can just contently savor or singleness. Our non-commitment can be our gratification. Who's on my side for this idea? Probably everyone who isn't enjoying today’s overly emphasized waste of a holiday.

See, the problem with Valentine’s Day is that no one wants to look bad in front of his or her peers, not having a lover to rely on during this stressful 24-hour period. In fact, according to BrainCandy.net, 15 percent of single women send themselves flowers just to appease their own loneliness and not look bad in front of their friends and family. How pathetic is that? That's like buying a boatload of candy on Halloween and sitting at home all night in a costume, eating yourself silly out of an old pillowcase. Why on earth would someone do such a thing? Because the Valentine gods mockingly scorn the fact that you are one pathetic loser.

And what's even worse, the survey continued on to mention that about 3 percent of pet owners will buy something for their pets on Valentine’s Day. Do you see what this is doing to people? This holiday is damaging so many people's self-esteem that they try to compensate for lack of love by giving flowers, candy or a singing telegram to their pets. Are we that desperate? We must be to be catering a candlelight dinner for our chihuahua.

As my roommate Matt so adequately put it, Valentine’s Day is a holiday created by Hallmark to monopolize the fraudulent fondness that so many imitation couples create for themselves in order to not feel humiliated by the man-made monstrosity we know as Valentine's Day. According to Hallmark, around 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards will be exchanged this year. Talk about a waste of money. But hey, at least your loved one/pet/self will know that you care right?

I guess there are a few advantages to not having a girlfriend this year. As the rest of the lovey-dovey couples fawn all over each other and waste hundreds of dollars on flowers, expensive dinners and the like, I will be content to saving that money for a far greater purpose. Like buying the gallon of rocky road ice cream I'll be eating all night while I feel like a fool for not having someone. Now shut up and let me wallow in my singularity.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Being a man a wonderful lifestyle

As most of you know, I grew up in a very unique household surrounded by women. I say that meaning that I had 11 sisters, sisters who were very girly, very feminine, very estrogenian. However, I stood my ground and maintained my masculine side. (Once every 7 years.) And I have a few things to say about how I love, being a man.

I love not worrying about whether my toilet seat is up or down. I love getting excited about watching things blow up. I love reciting the storyline of the 2004 NBA finals. I love not worrying about if my pants match my shoes. I love not having to put on makeup before I go out in public.

I love getting out of the shower, stopping, flexing in front of my mirror, and thinking that I'm the sexiest guy in the whole world. Trust me ladies, every guy does that. I love being able to get ready for the day in less than five minutes. I love not worrying about excusing the mess to guests at my apartment, simply because most guys are messy and I have a reason for my messiness.

I love lounging around in nothing but a pair of basketball shorts all day long and not feeling guilty about it at all. I love eating a double cheeseburger at 1 a.m. and not worrying about if any of it is going to my thighs. I love watching the Super Bowl not just for the commercials. I love ogling at a picture of Carmen Electra just because I can. I love not having to worry about the agony of childbearing.

I love discussing the latest car trends with a group of my buddies and not any of us having a clue what we're talking about. I love not asking people for directions when I'm lost. I love watching “Dumb and Dumber” hundreds of times and still laughing at the same jokes over and over. I love talking about hunting stories with my buddies that we've all shared, and exaggerating the details till the story is nearly unbelievable. I love growing a beard and pretending to be the Brawny man or Paul Bunyan.

I love having enough pride to cheer on a football team that hasn't had a winning season in seven years. I love going camping, not showering for five days, and still feeling like a million bucks. I love not asking my buddy if the pair of pants that I'm wearing makes me look fat. I love talking about whose truck could beat up whose. I love having the ability to go to the bathroom wherever I want to. I love having a simple life. I love being able to be pleased easily.

I love understanding how an engine works. I love having the words testosterone and masculinity in my vocabulary, as well as in my body. I love watching movies that have massive explosions and fast car chases, and not ones that have long distance love and romance from beyond the grave. I love not crying at the sight of a deer drinking from a pond at sunrise while classical Mozart music plays in the background.

I love getting excited a good plate of nachos. I love seeing how many gummy bears I can stuff in my mouth on a Saturday night after drinking a 24-pack of Mountain Dew with my buddies. I love watching four hours of SportsCenter a day and being entertained throughout it all. I love pretending to know what I'm talking about when a girl asks me something about cars. I love being a man.

Sure, being a man has its setbacks sometimes, such as… um… well… you know, I can't think of any off hand. And as the years go on, I'm sure there will be other reasons that make me glad I'm a guy, but for now, I'm going to live in the moment and revel in the fact that I am man. Hear me roar.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Evils of Mathematics

I have had some pretty difficult and sometimes dysfunctional relationships in my life, a few of which have left a sour taste in my mouth and painful memories to bitterly recall. I think if I were to gauge it, probably the most complicated and nasty relationship I have ever been in is the one I went through off and on for four semesters. Enter my significant other, Math 1050.

Math and I have never gotten along. Ever. I think it was back when I was a toddler, learning what numbers were for the first time, that my mind checked out of anything numerically related, especially the concept of basic math. It just never seemed to appeal to me. And to whomever it does, you have my deepest sympathies. I would rather fall through the toilet hole in an outhouse than do math, that’s how much we don’t get along.

Math is a canker sore on your lip while trying to eat a grapefruit. It’s the frustrating agony you have when you are about to sneeze and your reflexes pull it back in. It’s biting your tongue just after a root canal. Math is everything beautiful and serene in the world flushed down the toilet. Math is pain.

If it weren’t so confusing I think I’d be OK. But it’s like a labyrinth that never ends. All the formulas, cosines, inverse functions and theorems are just too much for me. And the difficult thing is the teachers expect me to memorize all of these formulas and equations and stuff that I can’t regurgitate.

For example, X1 minus X2 over Y1 minus Y2 is one. That equals something, whatever that may be I don’t know, but it’s a formula for something. I’m good at telling you what pi is, but that’s pushing me to my limits. To me math is about as sensible as trying to get a sundial to work on an overcast day.

They say math has real-life applications, but I don’t buy it. The only real-life application I have found is counting all the dots in the ceiling and dividing them by the number of panels in the room I’m in, all while waiting for my stupid math class to get over. Now that’s real-world applicability right there.

I don’t ever remember being in a situation where I stopped and said to myself: “You know, this whole mess could be solved if we just plug it into a quadratic equation, complete the square, graph the equation, take the slope of that line, and divide it by our original problem. That would solve everything.”

Did everyone follow me on that last one? Good, ‘cause I got lost just trying to write the sentence.

And then there are the story problems. Oh, those are frustrating. They say you use those in real life, but you never do. For example, have any of you ever been at a restaurant and said: “OK, this piece of carrot cake has 1,560 calories in it. That is three-fourths the average daily requirement for most adults. I wonder what the average daily calorie requirement is for the average adult anyway?”

Yeah, I didn’t think so. And if you say that you did, I’m calling your bluff and raising you 10. It never happens.

To you math buffs reading this and probably plotting my execution at this very moment, please don’t be offended. I apologize in advance. I know deep down inside me that this world needs math, and it wouldn’t survive without it. I just don’t happen to see it. You’re probably shaking your head in dismay wondering how you can get me to understand. It will never happen, trust me. You’ll probably have a better chance of finding the exact square root of two than converting me to the gospel of math. It will just never happen.

All in all, Math and I are never going to see eye-level. It’s been a constant battle between us since I can ever remember, and I don’t foresee a winner any time soon. Maybe I’m just too dense and ignorant to see the point in the field of mathematics. Oh well then. As with most relationships I’ve been involved in, ignorance is bliss.