Saturday, December 31, 2011


For full effect, download “Like Spinning Plates” by Radiohead and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Wow, those last twelve months went by fast didn’t they? I don’t know what word to use that best fits where all of our lives have been for the last 525,600 minutes. And yes, I may have just referenced “Rent” but don’t worry, I only know that because I had an overbearing sister obsessed with musicals. That’s right Kim, I’m talking about you. She’ll never read this though. She doesn’t even get a blogalias.

Where has all of the time gone? I have not a single clue. I really don’t. A year ago tonight I was headed down one path of certainty, and then for some reason I decided to take a swing at some other curveball that Karma threw my direction. Am I happy with where my life is headed? I guess so. Are you happy where your life is headed?

Don’t answer the rhetorical thought-provoking inquiry.

It has been a year of ups, and a year of downs. A year of smiles, laughter, and blonde jokes. As well as a year of tears, anger, and accidental text messages. A year of sushi and callings. A year of pickup games, and Thesis’. A year that has been on the road, in cheap hotels, at dumpy restaurants, in front of audiences, at the gym, on golf courses, at a desk, by a herd of cattle, in casinos, on the slopes, in alumni tournaments, around the Western half of the country, and in a hospital. It has been a year of everywhere. A year 41,528 miles strong on my Rogue.

It has been a year filled with a dumpload of people. People who I adore. People who I can’t stomach. People who see me for someone that I’m not, and vice versa. A year of people who I’ve camped out with, cried with, ate Miss Piggy’s with, threw outlet passes to, fought with, sucked up to, beat down in cards, serenaded, mooned, kissed, texted, angered, humored, roomed with, shared Netflix with, brainstormed, videoed, spotlighted, listened to Coyotes with, and helped change catheters for. It has been a year of people who have influenced me tremendously. And I hope and pray that I’ve done the same for them, in a good way.

This has been a year that I will never forget. A year with stone-graved memories that will live with me and be recited as my memoirs are transcribed by an eager grandson while I lay in a hospital bed. It’s been a year of my life. And a year of your life. I have never been more upset, more alone, or more afraid of what comes next. Likewise, I have never been more overjoyed, confident, and grateful for how incredible my life is.

I hope you feel the same.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Kind of Uncle Are You?

How’s the holiday season treating you? I hope well. Did everyone out there enjoy the pairs of church socks that Santa gave them? Or what about the 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story" on TBS? Don’t tell me everyone didn’t love the awkward family relationships that annually develop with estranged second cousins. That’s what the holidays are all about isn’t it?

For full effect, download “Criminal Minds” by Randy Newman, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Either that or turn on "Uncle Buck" from Netflix. Classic John Candy, can't go wrong with that chunk of comedy.

The reason I chose that song was it has some serious lyrics about the life of an Uncle. I was going to select a song by Terrence and Philip about shutting an Uncle’s mouth, but then again, I’m not that vulgar. You know exactly what song I’m talking about, Fishmitts.

I just returned from an enjoyable evening at my sister’s house. You remember my sister Laura don’t you? If not, here’s a resurrected blogpost about my sibling and her family. An awesome family they are. More than awesome. Don’t tell anyone, but I think she’s one of my favorite sisters. One of the ten to choose from, but she’s way up there on the list.

It was an enjoyable time exchanging gifts, talking about work, kids, life, and seeing my nephew show off his LSU Fox Robot Cletus. (Yes Blake, my cousin does in fact have an LSU robot. Can you believe that?) All in all, it was fun spending time with my nephew and nieces. Hopefully, I was as good of an uncle that they deserved.

The Faux Diva: “Well, my sister is having a baby this spring, I’m not sure if it’s a boy or a girl, so I’ll either be an Uncle or an Aunt.”

Yes, that’s a direct quote from someone who will not be named. But the topic of this blogpost is relating to the Uncles that we all have in our lives. Think about that for just a minute while Randy Newman strums away. I’ve had some pretty decent Uncles. Some good ones I might add. I had one who would play basketball with me in parking lots. I had one who taught me how to play the piano. I even have one who invented the treadmill. He’s not too bad.

I’ve also had some real goober Uncles in my life. Some real pretentious losers. Now, I’m not going to name any names or anything, plus I’m trying to be more positive in my life, but let’s just say I once had an Uncle randomly give me a set of used ski poles. That’s right, used. What a bag of douche. And it only goes downhill from there.

The point is, we all have Uncles in our lives. Whether they’re annoying alcoholics, or hilarious hunks, we all have a handful of our parents siblings that we either love, hate, or don’t really know much about because we never see them. The question that I ask all of you guy readers, and I know that in the blogging world there aren’t many of those, what kind of Uncle are you?

As the night wound down and the goodbye formalities were being exchanged between us, my 4-year old niece Bailey walked over to me and hugged my kneecap. “Thank you Uncle Brock” she said sweetly and drew a smile across her ginger face. It was in that moment when I had a heart-skipping personal realization.

I’m going to be the best damn Uncle that these kids are ever going to have.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sing Us A Song, You're The Piano Man

It’s much later than 9 o’clock on a Saturday. And I sit on a piano bench while a regular crowd of nobody’s doesn’t shuffle in. This scene would be much more dramatic if I was dressed in an unkempt tuxedo and had a glass of scotch on the piano in front of me. But then again, I’m just a virgin alcoholic, so how would I know what that’s like?

I play the same notes over and over again on the tired white piano keys. These notes are ingrained into my mind and into my fingertips. One day I will play these notes for someone else. Whether that’s in ten weeks or ten years, I haven’t the slightest clue. In the meantime I’ll just keep working on this song until it’s perfect.

Perfect for her.

This may seem like a screwed up post, but it is what it is. And since I’m not pulling out my narcissistic, hey-there-look-at-me tendencies by posting this link to Facebook, I’m not really stressing about what a handful of readers are going to read about.

I sort of feel like Good Luck Chuck. People have said that I sort of look like Dane Cook. Of course he’s probably just as big of a douchebag as I am. My Grandma showed me a Christmas card she got from one of my ex-girlfriends this evening. That’s kind of awkward for her to receive something like that from someone whom I have no relation with anymore, but hey, who cares? The girl is married now, has a couple of kids, has what she always wanted in life. A life that I couldn’t give her. Props to her. I wish her the best.

I wrapped around a dozen Christmas presents earlier tonight. Presents that honestly don’t mean a thing whatsoever. Material donations from one party to another that won’t be remembered six months from now. We celebrate the life of the being that we worship by passing along Carpe Diem Toms, LSU pennants, and long-sleeved ski resort T-shirts. These are items that don’t mean a thing in this speck of an existence that we call life. Things that in one eye are worthless, and in another priceless.

This has been the most bizarre holiday season that I’ve ever had the pleasure of handling. Having a Christmas party in a hospital meeting room isn’t always the best venue. Awkward pauses with second-hand cousins, doused with fabricated relationships to intruding uncles seem to litter the festivities year after year, holiday after holiday. It’s not that I don’t L-word mi familia, because I really do, they are just a unique brand of characters. And I’m one of them.

It’s close to 2 am, and I’m staring at the end of a blogpost that in a sense means absolutely nothing. Am I going to be laying on my deathbed ten, twenty, thirty years from now, and be especially proud in my heritage of blogging? To a whopping 44 people? It sounds trivial, miniscule, frivolous, and any other word that you can come up with using a thesaurus. None of this will matter in the long run. Technically I am on the verge of insanity for sticking with this. But oh well, that is life.

Day after day, myself and billions of others wonder about the meaning of life. Some say it’s being religious, others say it’s being kind to everyone around you, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy says it’s the number 42. Some days I don’t know what it is that drives us. And as I ramble on at the end of a page, all I can think about is controlling my own life and finding meaning in it. Bettering myself on a continual basis, working hard physically, academically, mentally, spiritually, and any other word that ends in “–ally”. In the meantime, I’ll just keep working on my life until it’s perfect.

Perfect for her.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Girls on Board(s)

Can I just make a statement to the blogging community that I am boldly proclaiming as just less than law, and something that I want all of you to recognize and tell others around you about?

Chicks who ride snowboards are HOT!

There, I got it out in the open. I confess, my one weakness aside from a co-ed in a Buckeyes bikini, is a girl who dons a beefy overcoat, big boots, and a Burton board to her feet and rushes down a snow-covered mountain at 20+ miles an hour. Can I get a witness from the congregation that these lasses should be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Snowsuit Edition?

Rock Steady: “Amen, my brother.”

Amen indeed.

Wait, let me back up for just one second, to talk about the culture of snowboarders in general. Today I had the privilege of spending some great quality time with a handful of friends on the slopes of Brighton ski resort. And during our lifts from the base to the top, we had some intriguing discussions, one of which involved the culture that exists among skiers and boarders.

Whojagger: “You see, I like skiers because they’re just a little bit more classier than your average person. They’re not trash. They just seem kinda better than those around them.”

Swamp Thing: “Wait, so because you’ve got skis on, and I’m wearing a board, that means that you’re better than me?”

Whojagger: “Yes. Yes it does.”

I do agree with Whojagger, there is a culture about snowboarders that makes them look like a literal bag of douche. Prima douche’ as it’s pronounced in French. The douchebag snowboarder has his cliché long, grown out Emo hair, his Skullcandy headphones blaring into his ten brain cell-occupied head, his Burton-laced everything, and his array of piercings and or tattoo’s. Heck, this tool could probably be boarding down the hill with a popped collar and his shirt tucked in right at the belt buckle and he would fit in at the regular douchebag festival easily.

Yes my friends that, is your classic bag of douche. Luckily, I don’t think I fit that stereotype. I’m more of your average pissed off jerk, but that’s neither here nor there.

Now, if we’re going to stereotype guys who snowboard, I guess that there’s a stereotype out there for girls who snowboard as well. Which brings me back to my opening statement of true doctrine; Chicks who ride snowboards are HOT! Yeah, that’s the best stereotype that there is. And it’s the honest truth.

I don’t know what it is about a girl on a board that just gives me what they call “the twitterpation effect”, because it melts me faster than a Reese’s Cup in July whenever I pass a girl on the slopes carving out her own madness with a blonde ponytail sticking out the top of her coat.

And so, to the future Mrs. Bybee, wherever the heck you may be, I ask you one favor. Please, oh please be a chick on a snowboard.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Should Keith Tronic Do?

It’s the end of the week of ethics, and as this has come to a close I would like to raise one of the most debatable, most discussion worthy ethical dilemmas to ever have crossed any one of our paths

Should David Archuleta serve an LDS mission?

Wait…sorry about that, Mormon media has been in a frenzy since the second-place idol aired his Lebron-esque “Decision” following the Christmas Fireside. TMZ might as well be having a banquet over that.

In other news a real-life ethical catch-22 was brought before me this afternoon that I, and others, would kill to have your feedback about. And it was all given to me by he who is known by the infamous blogalias, Keith Tronic. That’s right kids, please don’t hold your applause for this man.

If you’ve read some posts in the past, you may already have heard of Keith Tronic. But for those who are just luckily stumbling upon it today, let me describe this fine young specimen to you in one sentence. Keith Tronic is a half-empty, leather couch-purchasing, real estate selling, Espanol-hablaing, Costco-shopping, Beryl barnyard-buying, business-majoring, bedtime story-reading specimen who any one of us would be lucky enough to know.

Keith Tronic also just had the craziest day of his life.

For full effect, download “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

That is correct, Keith Tronic is in the midst of one of the biggest moral dilemmas ever created since that one smart King in the Bible was asked to saw a baby in half for a couple of prostitutes.

This past week, Keith Tronic was just leaving a very generic bank late in the evening after conducting some of his business. As he was pulling out of the parking lot, he noticed an envelope on the ground before him. With his curiosity sparked, Keith went over and retrieved the mysterious item and lo and behold, it held something so astoundingly breathtaking it would make Bear Gryls faint.

In the envelope was an orphaned child!

Kidding! Just thought I would throw a curveball at you to see if you were still reading. Actually in the envelope were a few notes that had monetary value. Quite a few notes I may add. In the envelope was somewhere around $2000! BUM-BAH-BUM! (Say in a resounding voice for full sound effect)

On a side note, why do we pronounce envelope the way that we do? Shouldn’t we sound the entire thing out? Take the name Penelope. It’s spelled the same way, but her name isn’t pronounced Pen-Elope. It’s like there’s a double standard. For the rest of this post, I would like you to pronounce the word, En-Vel-O-Pee. It makes this post that much more comedic.

Back to live action. What should Keith Tronic do? What would you have done? That next morning, Keith Tronic called the bank and asked if there had been a loss of funds, or if any one had complained about losing a couple grand. No one claimed the glory. But then again, what kind of person just walks around with $2000 in cash? If you ask me, I’d say either a drug addict, or either of those biblical hookers I mentioned a few paragraphs back. Either way, not the best group of people you want to spend time with.

And so, as this dynamic week of ethics has come to a close, with many hypothetical and realistic situations being brought to light, I will ask you my readers a question, similar to the arousal that I’ve been posting at the end of the last six blogposts. You can be the judge in this situation and give Keith Tronic the best solution for his predicament. Should he donate the money to a local homeless shelter? Should he go put the envelope back down in the parking lot for someone else to deal with? Should he go and splurge on some massive Christmas shopping? You tell me oh faithful readers:

What should Keith Tronic do?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ethics of Snowboarding

This post is inspired by my afternoon of joyous festivities. Yes that’s right kids, I was reveling in my favorite winter pastime. A hobby that one of my best friends turned me on to five years ago. My passion, that is snowboarding.

Can I get a witness from the congregation?

For full effect, download “Screaming At The Wailing Wall” by Flogging Molly, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

This afternoon Rock Steady and I hit the slopes for some grand old times enjoying the winter weather and the man-times that us guys all want to enjoy every so often in our lives. Yes that’s right Chief Kent, I had a Bro-Date, and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever!

In the midst of our ski-lift conversations, (which their will be a much more detailed post about later), Rock Steady brought up the point regarding the “ethics of the mountain” as he called it, or what standards of excellence actually exist among a culture who’s branded adjectives include “dope”, “sick” and “gnarly”.

Rock Steady: “Do they have ethics? I mean, do they have standards up here on the slopes? Like, is there a certain type of ethical culture that exists among them?” For the record, Rock Steady was using polysyllabic vocabulary, therefore the majority of the subjects we were conversing about would have stopped reading halfway through and looked to slurp down a Vicodin.

Swamp Thing: “I don’t know man, that’s a good question.”

Rock Steady: “Take that kid for example.” He pointed down below at a minor adolescent slowly coming to a stop just below our lift. Five feet behind where the eighth-grader had halted lay a wraparound facemask that had been lonely in the snow for the last hour. Reaching back with his ski pole, Pubescent Peter was trying to snatch it up.

Rock Steady: “He’s a fine specimen. I mean, he’s probably been eyeing that gear for the past three runs or so, waiting to see if someone else was going to pick it up. And since no one has, he thinks it’s rightfully his. But, is it really his? Does he have the right to take it?”

Rock Steady posed an interesting question that we all have debated in our minds every time we see a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk in our path, or when an extra bag of skittles falls from the vending machine before us. Are those material crumpets rightfully ours? Do we have the audacity, or rather the nobility to claim them as our own, or should we leave them be, and let their true owners pick them up? After a long day of shredding powder and falling on my coccyx, I pose the same rhetoric to all of the great honorable readers out there.

You be the judge.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Perverted Pot-Lucker

This has been more of a “week of justifiable lies”, hasn’t it? Maybe just a little bit more than it has been a week of ethics. Either way, I still have found the feedback very entertaining and very useful as to what type of standards the people around me have.

Today’s post comes from a generic person all the way across the country. Given that the majority of my readers live in Utah, I doubt that none of you will know whom this generic person, or rather generic crowd is. Give me a paragraph or two to paint the picture for you.

There is a group of nonspecific acquaintances and/or friends who hold a weekly potluck every Sunday afternoon following a non-denominational religious festival or service. Oh the joys they have had conversing with one another about the daily activities and events that have occurred in each one of their vague lives. Oh, the camaraderie and interpersonal bonding they have had. Truly, this is a tradition that they will enjoy.

Enter stage right a screwed up variable who only wishes to make things difficult for all of them. This variable somehow overheard about the get together through a friend of a friend of a friend. This variable epitomizes the words “awkward” and “uncomfortable”. This variable doesn’t have any Myspace friends. Come on now, that’s saying something if even Tom won’t like the variable.

Right from the initial entrance one fateful afternoon, the variable makes things unpleasant to everyone around. Saying uncomfortable questions and statements, invading the other potlucker’s privacy, heck, the variable didn’t even bring food to a potluck, that defeats the purpose from the start. The words that escape from his mouth are the straws that break this camel’s back.

Vance the Variable: “So have any of you seen that new porno starring Kirstie Alley?”

Cue awkward silence.

Vance the Variable: “Do you guys want to hear a dead baby joke?”

Cue awkward silence.

Vance the Variable: “And that’s why the doctor upped my dosage of Viagra.”

Cue vomiting into paper brown bags followed by awkward silence.

The emotional and physical hushing was so loud that it caused many of the potluck patrons to just up and leave. Never mind the bonding, the sharing of experiences, the taking out of goofy family photos and bragging about their son’s first soccer goal the day prior, all they wanted to do was go home, take a bath in Listerine, scrub themselves of all of Vance the Variable’s disgusting personality and donate money to a local charity.

A week later Vance the Variable stumbled into the potluck half-sober with a flask of rum sticking out of his back pocket and the potluck was over even before it had started. Everyone was running back to their houses with their tubs already lined with plastic lining, %100 alcohol, and vinegar.

Due to Vance the Variable’s inappropriate and rude behavior, the potluck that this generic gang had been so thoroughly enjoying was cancelled for the next week. And the week after that. And the week after that. Vance the Variable had had such a negative influence on all of them, that their continued friendship and joyous meeting and eating was flushed down the toilet for good. And all because of a handful of dead baby jokes.

Given the circumstances, I pose the question to you again my dear readers. Is the destruction of a dedicated festival because of a perverted erectile-defunct moron the right thing to do? Should boundaries have to be crossed in order for someone to enjoy the company of others? Or is the awkward-silence enhancer out of bounds for his pushing the envelope conversation that he mainly had with himself? May I toss out the phrase that defines this week of ethics:

You be the judge.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Alms For The Poor

On to Day four. Are you enjoying your day off? Your “day of rest”? Heck, with the culture that the majority of my readers are immersed in, the activities we engaged in are the complete opposite of “rest”. Am I right?

For full effect, download “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson and/or Jimmy Buffet and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Their liquor-laced lyrics will tell you all you need to know.

For this ethical dilemma, the curtain opens just outside of a local gas station where our hero, Brett Van Delay, is standing in front of a Redbox returning his copy of some B-list movie just released. Yes that’s right kids, he has no life. His eternal companion is Redbox.

Seated to his left on the sidewalk is his counterpart, Motorcycle Mark. Motorcycle Mark has been plopped in front of the local gas station for a few hours now. So far his mediocre life hasn’t really amounted to much. But tonight just might be his lucky night. The night where everything comes together for him. Motorcycle Mark sees that Brett Van Delay is having a hard time selecting his next movie/companion, so with a quick swoop, he loads his conniving cannon and goes to work.

Motorcycle Mark: “Hey Mr. you gotta minute?” Brett Van Delay looks over at the middle-aged chap with clothes that haven’t been washed since 2009, and bloodshot red eyes as their mate.

Brett Van Delay: “Yeah, whatsup?”

Motorcycle Mark: “Well, see the thing is, I’m in a bit of a bind ya see, my motorcycle is out of fuel, and I gotta be in Phoenix by tomorrow. And the thing is, I lost my wallet on the way down here, so I don’t have any way to refuel. Do you got any cash you could spare for me?”

Brett sizes the man up and down, and glances around at the given surroundings. The man smells like a Long Island Iced Tea, and in the background across the street is the town’s local bar, “The One and Only”. In this moment, Brett poses a response that is the ultimatum in his decision to be a Good Samaritan.

Brett Van Delay: “Well, I could fill up your bike’s tank if you want, where’s it at, and I’ll just use my credit card to fill it up.”

Motorcycle Mark steps back and gives his retaliation, “Oh no, that’s too much trouble for you to do. If you just have any extra cash, I’ll just add it to what everyone else has given me so that I can put a full tank in later. Do you have any extra cash on ya?”

In Brett Van Delay’s wallet sits a $50, a $20, and two $10 bills.

Brett Van Delay: with a sour smile on his face. “Sorry man, I don’t have any cash on me.” Turning his gaze back to the Redbox, he ignores the alcoholic beggar and goes back to fetching a new flick.

Is it wrong for him to be dishonest to the poor, a man who more than likely will go waste away the “gas money” on a shot of tequila, salt and lime? With this being the Christmas season, would the person whose birth we are celebrating spare a spot of silver for this drifting drunk? Is it wrong to be selfish with your spendings, especially if they are only going to be splurged on a gin and tonic? I toss the four-worded rhetorical inquiry in your direction once again my fellow readers:

You be the judge.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let's All Go To The Movies

I know a man who is a movie buff. He L-words them. That’s right, he’s in Lesbian with them.

Wallace Wells: “The other L-word”

Scott Pilgrim: “Lesbians?”

Yes, he’s in Lesbians with movies. Plain and simple. He’s so in Lesbians with movies, that he sees one in theaters on an average of three per week. And that’s why he’s broke. Motion pictures are his addiction. He is a movieaholic. For this post, we’ll give him the blogalias of J.B. Proxy.

With the rising economic difficulties, recreational activities in all shapes and forms are a hard thing to enjoy. The rising cost of cinema, fine dining, and enjoyable hustle and bustle, make it hard for someone to have a habit as addicting as this, and enjoy it on a constant basis. Another hardship that goes along with movie addictions, is the question that everyone faces once they enter the theatre: Am I willing to sell off my first-born child just to pay for a large popcorn and Diet Coke?

Yes that’s right, movie junk food is priced at a ridiculous rate, so ridiculous, that it makes people either have to waste away their Christmas bonuses on a packet of Sour Patch Kids, or be forced to withdraw from sugary sweetness while they watch the latest Sherlock Holmes film. We all love junk food don’t we? Shouldn’t we be allowed to enjoy a box of chocolate without having to give up a bodily organ to obtain that sweet goodness?

This is where the ethical dilemma posed by J.B. Proxy comes into play. Rather than give up an arm and a leg for a box of junior mints and a medium Mountain Dew, the wise movieaholic went to the generic grocery store and purchased sugary chewables for an eighth of the cost of what the folks at the theatre were asking. Then, having a smorgasbord of sweets packed away in his XL shorts, he snuck the treats into the theatre, while the high school senior checking tickets let him pass, unbeknownst about the goodies this fella was bringing in.

Is this wrong? Is it dishonest to bring in outside sweets to a movie theater that asks you to mortgage your home for a packet of Laffy Taffy? Should we be forced to buy that large handful of popcorn for $10.25, or should we be able to make our own rules about what we eat when we go to the movies? I present those four words again to you;

You be the judge.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Tall-Tale of Tosh.0

For today’s week of ethics debacle, I take you back to a random time period when another random person faced a semi-controversial confrontation in his life. Please, hold your applause until the end while I introduce the following characters for you. Again, these are both fictional creations acting out fictional situations. None of them are real.

Meathead McClure: This young gent has been involved in a relationship for just under a year with a sweet miss, and is addicted to two things in his life, basketball and crude comedy. When the movie “Basketball” came out, McClure thought he had just died and gone to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s heaven.

Fanny Ferzan: Meathead McClure’s counterpart, Fanny is a rough and tumble girl who doesn’t let anything get in her way. She, in fact wears the pants in the relationship, (as most girls do) and decides how high Meathead McClure jumps when she tells him to. Also, she is unwilling to pass gas in front of him.

It’s a cold winter night, and Meathead McClure has just finished playing in one of his generic city league basketball games. Walking over to Fanny’s house, the two of them converse, and talk, and do a bunch of other things that are involved in a superficial, B.S. relationship. Heck, they probably even C-worded while watching something like “Love, Actually” or “The Notebook”, which goes to show that women always have the power.

As the night trickles by, Meathead McClure looks at his watch and realizes how late it’s getting. It’s almost 10:15! Not an alarming time by any means, however, the newest episode of Tosh.0 will start in 45 minutes, and Meathead McClure hasn’t missed that great show since Comedy Central starting airing it. He would watch it there, but Fanny doesn’t have cable, what will he do?!

While Channing Tatum, or Ryan Gosling, or whoever it is with great abs is romancing a shallow chick, Meathead McClure pulls one of the greatest moves in the history of artificial actions. He begins…wait for it… to fall asleep.

Cue yawning, head-bobbing, and rapid blinking of eyes, in such a dramatic fashion that Fanny Ferzan is forced to look over at him in the middle of her chick-flick and see what all of the forty winks festivities are all about. By 10:20, Meathead McClure has replicated a complete R.E.M. cycle with the snoozing being added for full effect. The kid is falsely dozed off. This causes a motherly reaction from Fanny.

Fanny Ferzan: “You tired baby?”

Meathead McClure: Confusedly sputtering out his words “What? Sorry, did I uh…fall asleep there?”

Fanny Ferzan: “Yeah, sweetie. You must have had a long day. Do you want me to let you go home?”
It is in this moment when Fannie Ferzan is throwing a two-seam fastball of deceptive relationships right down the middle of the plate. Meathead’s response must be so eloquently worded that it will get him what he wants. If not, he’s going to have to sit through Ryan Gosling dancing with an 87-year old woman with amnesia. You’ve all seen “The Notebook” haven’t you?

Meathead McClure: “No, that’s ok…” Cue elongated blink of eyes “I’ll just…” elevated yawning motion “Stay here and finish the movie…” Cut to dropping of his head onto his chest re-enacting another nap. He’s out cold. Well, sort of.

Fanny Ferzan: “Oh no you don’t, you need some rest!” Bursting up from the couch, she turns off the DVD player and grabs his coat all in one motion, thus triggering Meathead McClure to be forced to leave the premises. They do the classic couples doorstep scene, and Meathead is out the door by 10:23 pm, plenty of time to spare for him to drive home and see what crude videos that Daniel Tosh can throw sarcastic comments at.

Thus brings up the ethical dilemma for you valiant readers to ponder and possibly comment about. Is it morally wrong for an individual to fake a nap just so he can get out of her hair and go watch Tosh.0? Have you in fact lied to your own significant other just to get out of their presence? Should a man be forced to watch Channing Tatum on DVD? I pose again the four words that hopefully trigger’s a reaction.

You be the judge.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Meticulous Moody vs. Jose' Jelephino

Are you ready for some football!?! A Monday Night Party!

I think that’s how the song went. I was trying to deliver some kind of melodic motivator as we begin the Week of Ethics. But then again, both that song and that logo has absolutely nothing to do with this blogpost. It’s hard to find a good beat out there that is relevant to ethics. I mean come on now, what kind of musical superstar out there actually has good ethics? Name one, I dare you.

For this story, I take you to the office of a workplace, a very generic workplace, a workplace that shall not be given any proper or official title. It is in this workplace when the paths of two people will cross in a very unnatural, peculiar manner. Please, let me introduce them to you. Curtains up…

The Meticulous Moody: This is a man who is very friendly, very outgoing, very personable, but for some odd reason cannot put a name and a face together. Every time he sees a recognizable persona, he gives them the usual “Hey, man, old buddy, how’s uh…how’s everything going in your uh…generic lifestyle that I can’t quite put my finger on?”

Jose’ Jelephino: Say his last name accentuating the “I” to get the full effect. Jose is a die-hard Lakers fan whose primary language is actually Hispanic, however he speaks fairly decent English, and could more than likely carry on a conversation with a batch of high school seniors (who aren’t texting might I add).

Jose’ Jelephino steps into the office of The Meticulous Moody to catch up on old times. Keep in mind, they have never had “old times”. The two of them haven’t shared more than six sentences between them both, so how on earth are they supposed to talk isolated for longer than ten seconds at a time?

As Jose’ Jelephino steps in, the usual subjects of weather, work, and academics get brought up, and the two of them converse over nonspecific sub-details, meanwhile in the back of his head The Meticulous Moody is counting down the seconds until the lunch bell rings so that he can be rescued by a ham and cheese sandwich at home. Out of nowhere, Jose’ launches a talking trap that could ruin The Meticulous Moody’s afternoon.

Jose’ Jelephino: “Say man, what you think about the Lakers man? What you think about them getting beat real bad by Dallas? Kinda crazy, no?”

Uh-oh, Jose’ has just opened up a black hole of dialogue as The Meticulous Moody has a massive passion for basketball, and the Los Angeles Lakers. This could lead to hours and hours of rants about professional sports between two sub-par acquaintances!

The Meticulous Moody: Holding back his Jim Rome/Pardon the Interruption urges, reaches into his pocket and grabs a hold of his cell phone. “Uh…yeah…about that trade. I uh…”
Stammering out words like ‘triangle’ ‘retirement’ and ‘Metta World Peace’ he slowly but surely dials the number to his work phone and presses send.

The Meticulous Moody: “The entire series was ruined when…”

RING! RING! RING! Saved by the interrupting phone on his desk.

The Meticulous Moody: “Some generic workplace, this is The Meticulous Moody, how can I help you?” He is answered by the blank pause of nothingness on the other end of the line.

The Meticulous Moody: “Oh really? Are you serious? Well I, uh...can you hold on just a minute?” Turning to Jose’ Jelephino he says, “This is gonna take a while.”

Politely, Jose’ stands up and nodding with a smile on his face mouths the words ‘I’ll come back some other time’ as he walks out the door. The Meticulous Moody continues to have a conversation with himself as Jose’ Jelephino exits stage left. As soon as he’s out of sight, the phone is set back down on the desk, and The Meticulous Moody goes back to his regularly scheduled program of busy work.

Is that wrong? Was what he did incorrect? Or was The Meticulous Moody just trying to very softly, very politely escort a bi-lingual individual out of his office without having to be rude and insist that he leave at once? Some say he’s rude, some say he’s inconsiderate. But as for my 44 consistent readers, I leave you these four simple words:

You be the judge.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Week of Ethics!

I am Jack’s fabricating oral cavity.

For the record, I usually don’t start Week Of __________’s on a Wednesday, but due to the fact that it’s the holiday season, and that I’ve got some bizarre spare time on my hands for the next eight days, I hope to enlighten you with a Week of __________ that I’ve wanted to do for almost six months now.

For full effect, download “If Today was Your Last Day” by Nickelback and play at full volume throughout…wait, what the heck am I thinking, never listen to ANYTHING by Nickelback!

This, my friends will be a week of (Insert any word besides “epic” Johnny Thunder) proportions, this will be a week of arguing, of opinions, of what is right or wrong. This will be a week where you listen to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and try to see the underlying message in it that does NOT correspond with Penn State. This will be, ladies and gentlemen, the week of ethics.

What are ethics, you may ask? The Interweb defines ethics as “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation, a guiding philosophy.” Basically, what is right and what is wrong in our everyday lives. Of course, philosophers and theologists have argued about this till they’re blue in the face, and don’t even get me started on the religious and political points of view that have been tossed to and fro about ethical dilemmas.

I’m not asking you what is right and what is wrong in life, and to soapbox your beliefs to me in a nutshell of a paragraph, what I’m asking is your thoughts on a given situation. Over the next seven days, I will present seven different hypothetical happenings, (I stress the word hypothetical, there is no doctrine or evidence to prove that any of these situations actually occurred). After reading the blogpost, I want you to tell me whether what happened in the given circumstance was ethically right or wrong, based on your own personal beliefs.

Again, can I stress that there is not a single shred of proof that can verify that ANY of the seven situations did in fact happen, however ludicrous and outlandish each story may be, I am only telling these tales from a fictional viewpoint to get the message across.

Ben Affleck: “None of this is real. They’re just fictional characters. FIC-TION-AL CHAR-AC-TERS!” Cue hand motions. (LTT)

Whatever the outcome, I would like any one of you 44 readers to tell me if what happened in the story is good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust. Because, you the readers, the audience, are always right in whatever you say. Am I wrong for just lying to your face? Is that unethical?

I am Jack’s fabricating oral cavity.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Achilles Heel

I have finally found the weak link in my chain.

Yes, I am a great man. I will admit this, even though I know how humble that statement sounds. I have conquered a lot of things in my meager 26 years thus far on Earth. I can solve a Rubik’s Cube, I can eat four saltine crackers in under 60 seconds, heck, I still own the record for fastest time in completing the two-pound challenge at the Fuddruckers in Virginia Beach. You remember that don’t you Brother Campion?

I really am amazing. I know, please don’t flatter me. This morning, the wise Keith Tronic made me realize what the figurative Achilles heel is in my life.

Popular 90’s Music.

There, I said it. I have admitted defeat. For full effect, download any song from R.E.M., Collective Soul, The Wallflowers, or Soul Asylum and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Don’t know who any of those bands are? Don’t feel bad. Neither do I.

Not that it matters or anything does it? Popular 90’s Music to me is that 3rd cousin twice removed that you awkwardly make conversation with about the weather at even-yeared family reunions. 90’s music is that one kid back in high school who used to do that one thing at that one place, with all of those other generic things that you can’t quite put your finger on. 90’s music is the epitome of vague, lifeless, fuzzy memories that we just can’t fully grasp.

Maybe it was my upbringing that mentally scarred my audible erogenous zones. Keep in mind I lived in a house stockpiled in female hormones and religious extreme’s, therefore the main chords that would carousel the airwaves of our home was either New Kids on the Block or Amy Grant. Throw in a little Jon Secada every once in a while, and you have yourself a downright recipe for an acoustic atomic bomb.

Hear me out on this (pun intended). Let me toss out a few of the more popular artists from this confusing decade, and tell me if you know more than one song of theirs. The Proclaimers, Blackstreet, Hanson, EMF, Soundgarden, Spin Doctors, Live, Marcy’s Playground, Right Said Fred, Cypress Hill, Sinead O’Connor, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Stone Temple Pilots, Depeche Mode, Deep Blue Something, Haddaway? Any of these ring a bell? Don’t lie to me, or yourself. And get off Wikipedia trying to prove me wrong.

What ever happened to all of these one hit wonders?

Tom Everett: “It’s pronounced, One-ders.”

Sean Whalen: “Yeah, that’s what I said, Oneeders.” (LTT)

The thing is, Keith Tronic loves this music. He even challenges me to “Name-this-one-hit-90’s-band-on-Pandora-or-else-you-owe-me-lunch” games, which I fail at miserably. I can’t name a song by Lisa Loeb and the Nine Stories, or New Radicals by any means. Come on man, you’re killing me! And yes Malibu Cleaners IS on Bluff Street you coward!

90’s Music will forever be the last straw on my metaphorical camel’s back. It is the David to my Goliath. It is the... hmm…I can’t really think of yet another profound analogy. It is my “Black Hole Sun”. It is continually “Building a Mystery” in my head. It is slowly “Killing me softly.”

Me and my “Semi-Charmed Life”.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Have You Heard of Advisor Trac?

B.E.P. Longhorn, you can now officially listen to Christmas music on Pandora. Mix it up every once in a while though for me would you please? “Coyotes” by Don Edwards always brings a tear to the Cowboy inside me.

By the way, have I told you about Advisor Trac? It’s the most happening thing since sliced bread. It’s the crème de la crème of online high education software programs. It’s the Chuck Norris of 1’s and 0’s and html coding. It’s what Lady Gaga uses as toilet paper. IT. IS. THAT. AMAZING!

For those of you besides B.E.P. Longhorn, J. Black Hairpiece, The Royal King of Jericho, and Mrs. Dixie Bo Jackson, who don’t follow my daily ranting and insights, there is a fellow who we shall call, The Jerry Jones Minion, who works along side us for the betterment of the institution that employs us. He’s a great guy, very intelligent when it comes to education, has a decent opinion and knowledge of sports, and is a fun loving guy. But has he told you about Advisor Trac yet?

The Jerry Jones Minion: “Hey, hey, hey, have you heard of Advisor Trac?”

Swamp Thing: Confused/perplexed/WTF look across my face “Ummm…No? Should I have heard of it?”

The Jerry Jones Minion: Confused/perplexed/WTF/Christmas Morning for a six-year old look across his face “IT IS THE MOST INCREDIBLE SOFTWARE PROGRAM EVER MADE! ALMOST AS GOOD AS MS/DOS! BUT BETTER!”

Swamp Thing: “MS Dos? What’s that?”

The Jerry Jones Minion: “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT MS DOS IS?”

Swamp Thing: “No, I actually talk to girls.”

It is at this point when The Jerry Jones Minion goes on his usual diatribe about how this software program Advisor Trac is going to morph the organizational process of higher education advisement into the juggernaut of online learning. Advisor Trac to him, is what a double banana split is to a fat fifth grader. It’s that moment when we were introduced to the concept of Napster. It’s Legen- wait for it –DARY!

Don’t ask me what this program does, all I know is that the universe was created, and then on the eighth day there was Advisor Trac. It is the ambrosia that was served on golden platters to the Gods on Mount Olympus. It’s part history, part Sage, part Mexican. It was there when Pancho Villa was young.

It’s become a consistent trend in our office that we all enjoy hearing about. First The Jerry Jones Minion comes in and discusses how the Cowboys are going to win the Super Bowl (despite how they lost to the Cardinals last week and they’ll win their division by default on the grounds that the Eagles, Giants, and Redskins all suck). He then dovetails into bragging about Advisor Trac, and asks us if we want in on a secret software webinar that will teach us the in’s and out’s of this sacred program.

Swamp Thing/B.E.P. Longhorn: Waking up from a comatose stupor “What? What? I’m sorry. I tuned out when you said something about Advisor Trac.”

The Jerry Jones Minion is a great guy who we enjoy to have around, but all of our lives would be so much better if we didn’t have to hear about the same computer program every single day. At the rate he’s going he’ll probably name his next child Advisor Trac. Either that or Tony Romo. Both of which are horrible, horrible names.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Passion

I saw this picture on Reddit yesterday, and honestly had one of those twitterpated overbearing throng of emotions engulf me for ninety seconds. This is the passion in my life. This, is my eternal companion.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wuv. Twue Wuv.

I feel like a failure not having posted in a week. It has been a helter-skelter seven days with my attention focused on "big-kid" things. Plus, I also wanted all of you to know how much I respect hate Michigan.

I had a conversation with Rock Steady yesterday about his attempts at dating a specimen of the opposite sex. This potential mate works for a local barbershop and cuts his hair on a regular basis.

Amidst his monthly grooming, he has lassoed his hairstylists phone number and the two of them have been out on a few dates. Returning home from his most recent trimming, I asked how things were going between the two of them.

Rock Steady: "I mean, she's great and all. I've made her dinner and we've spent some time together."

Swamp Thing: "But...?"

It was at this point when Rock Steady said something that to me was mildly profound, and sums up what I think every single one of us wants in our lives.

Rock Steady: "Like, we had fun talking about stuff, but the chemistry wasn't there. Like it wasn't as strong as it has been with other girls."

Swamp Thing: "What do you mean by chemistry?"

Rock Steady: "Like, when we got done hanging out, I would be fine with not seeing her for a week. I think that when it's right whenever you get done spending time with them, you can't wait a week. You want to see them again right then. You don't want to wait one second without them."

Bold. Philosophical. And to me is the magnificent definition of what everyone wants to feel in their lives. Or what they want to feel for another person.

That, my friends is Wuv. Twue Wuv.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chicks Dig Vampires

I think I need to turn into a vampire to become more popular.

Do you know where I’m coming from? Have you not seen the pathetic obsession with "Breaking Dawn" that has mothers and daughters tossing their panties at the giant silver screen premiering?

What is it about the whole Twilight series, or vampires in general that makes every single creature with estrogen obsessed with? I have no clue. Is it the pointed teeth? Is it being alive for a few hundred years? Is it not having a reflection in any mirror and having a massive allergy to garlic overall? What makes women these days want a boyfriend from Transylvania?

Girls always say that the transparent glitter creature named Edward is this handsome, dreamy freak of nature that make them want to melt into his arms. I kind of see what girls mean about how vampires may be romantic, but you have to agree with me, after getting involved with one and dealing with their physical love aspects, vampires have to give one monstrously violent hickey.

Vampires are one type of fictional character that causes women’s heart to skip a few beats, but what is it about this Edward dude from “Breaking Dawn” that in essence makes all women want to break up with their current boyfriends/fiance’s/husbands?

They brag about how he's protective, strong, how he would do anything for the girl that he's with, but is he really that suave of an individual that elevates him so high in female’s eyes? Or is it the fact that he can only be awake and seen after the sun has gone down that makes women want him even more? I tried to get a better understanding of Edward/vampires in general so that I could get a few hints and suggestions as to how to become a more appealing guy.

In “Interview with a Vampire” rather than kill people and become a threat to those around him, Brad Pitt suggested he suck the blood of rats and mice to survive. I don’t know if women would appreciate my new cologne being created by rodents frolicking from the sewer, but hey, he’s a vampire. Chicks dig it right?

Or what about in “Van Helsing”? The main Count Vladislaus Dracula in the film has a trio of female vampires that he treats like garbage and then makes it up to them later on by going to bed with them. And by going to bed, I mean transforming the group of them into a stone statue.
I don’t get it! I really don’t understand it one bit at all. I wish that I could for some reason grasp the concept of what makes girls all across the country want to exchange the man in their current relationship for some pointed teeth monster whose hates anything religiously related including crucifixes and holy water? Why would girls rather cuddle up next to the undead in a coffin than to anyone else whose heart actually beats normally?

Speaking of the physical nature of vampires, I gauged from the previews of "Breaking Dawn" that the chick in it is supposed to be having Edward's baby. Someone please explain this to me. If a vampire is incapable of having blood in their system, thus making them immortal, how in the world are they supposed to create a child? I'm almost positive that blood is crucial in the erecting of an offspring.


There must be something about the fangs, or the odd-shaped eyes, or even the werewolf with a tattoo who needs to pull off his shirt every ten minutes on screen that gets chicks all hot and bothered about this obsession. Maybe the reason that I'm still single is because I haven't found someone that can give me that massively noticeable hickey.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Last Step

In the room next to me a woman is dying.

Yeah, that’s a depressing way to start a post, but the shock value alone triggered you to keep reading into this next sentence. Your disapproval and agitation with the shock value will keep you reading this current sentence. Followed by the fact that your envelope has been pushed to the point that you are willing to read this entire post to gauge my own personal feelings about life in general.

Don’t worry now, I’m not depressed or anything. I’m not sad either. Chagrin seems to be the word of the day as I vacantly stare at the freshly mopped talcum-colored floor and intoxicate myself with my sterile surroundings. This hospital isn’t foreign territory anymore. It’s been the bunker for my Grandpa for the past 74 straight days plus. And we don’t know how much longer he’s going to need room service here.

In the room next to me a brittle elderly woman is softly moaning to the nurses that her chest hurts. She’s been here almost as long as the colonel has been. The only difference is, she’s not progressing anymore. She’s getting ready to go knocking on heaven’s door. It’s going to happen soon enough.

Outside in the hallway a handful of red-eyed family members sits in limbo as to what is going to happen in the next ten minutes, next half hour, next nursing shift. They wait. Waiting for something traumatically relieving to happen. Waiting for their hallowed yet delusional mother, aunt, grandma, sister, friend, be relieved of her difficulties. The difficulties of her physical body not being able to regenerate itself anymore. The difficulties of balancing pro-life and pro-death decisions. The difficulties of letting go.

Yes, that certainly is the most difficult piece of life to chew on.

Deep down we all are afraid of dying. Afraid of what lies ahead. Afraid that our faith in the afterlife will be shaken and stirred once our hearts have given up their last beats. Death is one of the most constant uncertainties that we all have to face at some point in our lives, rather, at the end of our lives. Death is there. It’s always with us. Sooner or later we will have to come to terms with the impending closure of our lungs, or the ceasing of neurons transmitting in our brains. Our clocks continue to cycle down until the last granules of sand have passed through the hourglass. Sooner or later, that day will come.

Disturbing? Yeah, probably. But as the woman in the room next to me pants out the phrase, “just let me go” over and over again, with her supporting cast wiping away tears and hesitantly embracing the next step in all of their lives, I can only wonder about the inevitable future of the man lying in the bed two feet before me.

In the room next to me, the last step is being taken.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dear Rhinestone Cowboy...

Dear Rhinestone Cowboy,

This post is for you.

We have come along way in the years that we’ve known each other. There was the awkward small group communication class that we wasted away our lives in listening to the old geezer Shamo. There were the countless intramural beatdowns I received by the loathed Team Texas. And of course, there was the highlight of my life (along with leaving Roy) the day that you and I were introduced to Miss Piggy, my jezebel ham sandwich princess.

Yes we have had some good times Rhinestone Cowboy a.k.a. B.E.P. Longhorn a.k.a. Robin’s Bob Cracthit (I give you that third blogalias for this post alone). With those nicknames being said, I will say their needs to be an intervention in our relationship. Something has to change. A compromise must occur if you and I are ever going to remain friends, even on Facebook.

For full effect tune in to FM100.3 on your radio any time of the day from November 1-January 10 and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. It is the tunes being strummed on those airwaves that lead me to this attempted intrusion.

Rhinestone Cowboy, we all know that I’m a grumpy bear (at least that’s what the Glee President calls me these days.) I am the walking bah humbug who scowls whenever the holiday marqueed by the fat man in a red jump suit rolls around. I am not the biggest fan of gingerbread houses, awkward caroling, and games littering ESPN. The holiday season just isn’t my holiday.

Don’t ask me why this is. Maybe it’s because I had some traumatic events as a child around this time of the year. Maybe it was the lumps of coal that anchored my stockings. Maybe it was the fact that because I lived in an estrogen-encased habitat I received Maxi-Pads instead of baseball cards for presents. Maybe my biological father is actually Ebenezer Scrooge. For all I know this just isn’t my favorite few months, and I try to get through them as swift as possible.

With that being said, I ask you, no, I plead with you. Nay, I bow before you on my knees with my hands in prayerful position, puppy-saucer eyes watering, mouth corners drooping, and beg for your mercy to please, for the love of everything that is sacred to the ethical treatment of humanity, please stop playing your Christmas music on Pandora.

I know that I am 327 miles away from our grandeur of an office right now, but honestly Rhinestone Cowboy, I can hear the swan song serenades drifting northbound I-15 all the way into my subconscious earlobes nearly 24 hours a day, and it’s all because of the tradition that you tried to instill in our office last November 1, when you tuned into that festive Pandora station just for some holiday gratification.

Honestly, the Christmas season is a great time to share memories, repair relationships, and enjoy the company of friends, family, and fruitcake, but just because those events are just around the corner doesn’t mean that we have to listen to Mariah Carey singing “All I Want for Christmas is You” over and over again. I really am purged to madness when I hear “Feliz Navidad” playing on November 8th. And trust me, I can only take one more verse of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing “Christmas Don’t Be Late” or else I might go ballistic on those rodents.

Look, I know that you have taught me a lot in our years together. I developed a respect for the Cowboy that you knew in south Texas. I have taken your advice to pay off my medical debts. I really have felt a strong connection as I have thrown some monstrous outlet passes to you during noon ball. And one day, if I ever find the Mrs., we might even “hang out” with you and Mrs. B.E.P. Longhorn after work. But please, oh dear Rhinestone Cowboy my friend, please for the love of my departure into an asylum, change your Pandora station to something else, at least until December 1st.

Respectfully yours,

Ebenezer Swamp Thing

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Good Times of Guy Council

There are a large number of traditions that have created a conglomeration of memories for me to reflect upon and remember all of the good times that I had. Looking back on this my life, there has been a hoard of things I think I have thoroughly enjoyed. Amidst all the great traditions and events that have defined my life, I would say that one of the greatest things I have ever enjoyed in my life, is the tradition of Guy Council. 

Never heard of it? Why, you have to be missing out. Guy Council is one of the most ingenious, exciting events that has ever occurred in St. George. An event that Chuck Norris would even respect. Since its creation in the fall of 2001, Guy Council was a forum where manly men got together for a few hours each week and discussed the truly important things in life: cars, sports, and above all, girls. 

Kyle Mellen, co-founder of the Guy Council: "It was a chance for us poor guys to share experiences about our love life and gain insight from one another."

Oh, this is not an exaggeration, mind you. I am being totally and completely honest about this. Every Sunday night at midnight, a group of guys would get together at Denny's to reminisce about the week’s events. Call me crazy, but it was been one of the most refreshing weekly traditions I was ever a part of in my years. 

You may ask how it all got started and what kind of ideas were being thrown around to get a midnight dining crew created. 

Randy Bates, co-founder of the Guy Council: "We did it for a simple reason: because basically we were just a bunch of hungry guys. We also did it so we could talk about our dating problems, and things just went well from that point." 

Forget the dances, forget the pageants, forget all of the formal traditions that have been done year after year. None of them even comes close to the memories that were instilled as our group discussed whether we should commit to a serious relationship over a nice fat platter of Moons Over My Hammy. 

There have been some pretty funny stories to go along with our midnight meetings as well. Like the time we were harassed by a self-proclaimed cowboy as to how to reach the female sex, or when our waitress Susan tried to set us up with her daughter, a 21-yead old prostitute from Las Vegas. (I am completely serious about those two events.)

Randy Bates: "All of our ladies would get mad and upset because we would leave them to talk about them, and it was never to get back to them what we said."

By all means, that was the code to our Guy Council. The words that were spoken over the midnight breakfast are for the six of us alone, and no one else. 

Yeah, so maybe at times our ladies did get upset at us, but hey, all we had to do to settle them down was bring them a movie with Heath Ledger in it and buy them some form of chocolate. 

In the four years I was a student on the sacred DSC grounds I was a witness to some of the finest traditions and memories that have ever been, but nothing beat the Guy Council meetings. Now, if I could only find a lady to talk about...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Am Not A Cowboy

I have an old buddy named Chet who is through and through a cowboy. The guy epitomizes what being a country boy is. For instance, he had a steel roping dummy named Clark that we tried to rope in our parking lot. I tried to lasso his metallic hind legs, but God didn’t grace me with those kinds of skills.

Chet lived a lifestyle that is completely foreign to me, one he called being a “country cowboy.” I don’t understand country culture one bit. It confuses me like a colorblind person trying to match his clothes. Yet, there are hundreds and thousands of people who proclaim their country roots.

One thing that really confuses me is the music. Chet would swear up and down that country music is one of the greatest things ever created, that the lyrics, tunes and songs of country music are some of the most divine.

I have tried listening to country music, and I’ve concluded that all country songs are about one of three things: 1. The classic I lost my job, my girlfriend left, my truck died, my dog ran away, isn’t-my-life-a-tragedy-poor-me swan song. 2. It’s the end of the day, and I need to find a bar so we can sit around and talk about how great it is to get plastered. 3. I’m a woman, and I want everyone else to know about my independence and autonomy by belting out songs proclaiming my femininity.

Country music continues to be a hit regardless. Ask just about any girl what her favorite type of music is, and she’ll reply anything by Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw or George Strait.

Another aspect about it is the movies. Every Western movie has to have three ingredients: a scene in a bar, a gunfight, and a massive load of horses running all over the place. The plotlines seem to revolve around the same types of stories. There’s the bad guy who’s chasing the girl. The girl is in love with a rebel cowboy, whom her parents don’t approve of. And the rebel cowboy in search of his identity finds it through the love of a wild woman… and his horses. One can almost always predict how a Western film is going to play out nearly every time you watch one: Smoky-eyed rebel meets a girl, gets in a gun fight, chases him on a horse, and wins the woman over.

Horses are another part of country that just never appealed to me. Now I have nothing against the great animals, but what is it about them that associates them with cowboys? I have no idea. When you think of horses, you instantly think of cowboys. Does that at all seem fair? I don’t think so. What if I want to ride a horse, but I don’t want to be a cowboy? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

It seems that the cowboy form of recreation is another aspect of country culture that is enigmatic to me. I’m referring to that which is called the rodeo. The rodeo is something that never made much sense to me. When will we as individuals ever have to sit on a violently moving object and keep our balance for at least eight seconds? Or ever have to rope a cow that has gotten loose in an urban pasture? I don’t think those skills are ever going to be of use to us, yet the rodeo continues to be one of the most crowd-pleasing fun-loving events all across the country.

I think the real issue at hand is that I’m not cultured enough to live the country lifestyle. If there’s one thing that I can say about Chet is that he’s one of the most laid-back, relaxed, have-a-good-time individuals I’ve ever met. Nothing seems to rattle the kid. Maybe it’s his cowboy culture that helps him stay so comfortable and tranquil about life. I don’t know what it is that makes him feel so good, but whatever it is, I want some. It’s just too bad I don’t fit the part of a very good cowboy. A 6-foot-5-inch lanky kid wearing a cowboy hat just doesn’t make that much sense. Oh well, though. I’ll stick to what I’m good at… not liking country.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Need This Shirt

If you know who I am, and you know how I sweat, then you know that I need this for my wardrobe. I will be accepting this as a donated Christmas present.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Am Terminally Ill

It’s the last stop on this long, long Week of __________ and for some reason I don’t even know what day it is.

For full effect, download “Mama I’m Comin’ Home” by Ozzy Osbourne from iTunes and play and maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Honestly, I have lost track of almost everything at this point in my life. It’s all just a blur to me now. So please excuse me if I have forgotten your name, where you’re from, or who you even are. Everything at this point is just one jumblemuck glob of electronic scanners, continental breakfasts, rental car receipts, and a salesman’s motif of attempting to convince students to come to my institution.

Red Robin Waitress: “What can I get you this afternoon sir?”

Swamp Thing: “Well, the thing that’s great about my college is that we’re very personalized, we’re very affordable, and there are so many things to do in St. George. Do you know what you want to go into for your major?”

Red Robin Waitress: Confused/Perplexed/WTF look across her face “Uh…sir, you’re at a restaurant. Are you sure that you’re doing ok today?”

Yes, that was my life this afternoon. I am an ox, and a moron.

Cut to 37,600 feet in the air where the stewardess has just reminded us over the intercom to keep our seatbelts on throughout the duration of the flight. Seatbelts on an airplane have always bewildered me. Why in the curse word do we have to wear them anyway? It’s not like they are going to actually save our lives if we crash and burn into the ground. Absolutely not they won’t! They in fact would only keep us strapped into our seats while the plane combusted at a violent pace. What do they think happens in the skies anyway? Do we wear seatbelts in case a gigantic 747 pulls out in front of us at the last second and we rear end the monstrous airplane? If that’s the case, I’m unbuckling my cloth strap and going belt-free the rest of the way home.

Pilot: “Whoa! Did you see that jerk? He just pulled out into the turning lane without even signaling! Those Delta pilots, always causing a ruckus up here. My insurance company is going to have a fit with this little fender bender.”

Note: There are no fender-benders 37,600 feet up in the air. For the record, a person is statistically more likely to be killed by a donkey’s back kick to the head than they are to be killed in an airline crash. However, I think we all look like jackasses when we buckle up in the clouds hoping that it might save our lives when gravity has its way with an ailing airplane.

I am Jack’s psychotic medulla oblongata.

Next to me the Monday morning gym rats are flipping through the pages of the Skymall catalog wondering what they’re next pyramid scheme-esque purchase will be once the flight lands.

Mrs. Monday Morning Gym Rat: “Ooh! Look honey, a BBQ branding iron, you can trademark your mediocre medium-rare porterhouse with your initials. How sweet is that?”

What she meant to say is, “How stupid do I have to be to pay $79.95 to inscribe my initials on a piece of meat for roughly 90 seconds? Am I that vain of an individual to get the initials LTT burned into a filet mignon just so my friends will see how rich and pompous I am?

Yes. Yes you are.

Skymall is the floating catalog for high-roller douchebag Mike to have a rewards card with. Honestly some of the things in this catalog make me shake my head in disbelief and wish that the aliens from Mars Attacks would come and wipe out our planet. I mean we’ve got things like the oscillating table tennis trainer, or the 15-foot high skateboard sailboat. Heck, for just one low payment of $49.95, you can change the water coming from your showerhead into seven different colors!

Mrs. Monday Morning Gym Rat: “Ooh, dear, look at this, it’s a bowl within a bowl! You can separate the milk from the cereal in the same piece of plastic. We’re never going to eat soggy cheerios ever again!”

Cut to furry jackass kicking Mrs. Monday morning in the temple removing her from the face of this earth. I have to get off this plane and crawl into a bed that feels familiar to me tonight, if not, I’m going to say an excited greeting to my friend Jack on the other side of the plane and hope that they take me away in cuffs and jacket.

I am Jack’s withered subconscious understanding of real life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Everyone Has A Nose Ring

For full effect, download “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 from iTunes and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

At least I think that it’s Sunday morning. This entire trip has morphed the continuously running clock/calendar that is supposed to be on track in my head into a giant blob. Add Daylight Savings Time into the equation, and I don’t even know where I am. Somewhere my body is floating through the space/time continuum.

If you live on the west coast, I think one of the requirements to do so is that you must get a nose ring. That of course is attached to your Starbucks. Figuratively, not literally. I haven’t figured this hip jewelry out yet. Teens have them, moms have them, dads have them, grandmas have them, some lady was walking around with her pet pug who had a giant nose ring flaring from its nostrils. These things are everywhere. Taking over the National College Fair world that I’ve been trapped in for the past, I think week or so?

A plump Peter with a scratched up suitcase and hideous tie flaring 80’s fashion walks by and stares me up and down. In his head, plump Peter is disgusted that I am not holding a Starbucks. In his head, plump Peter thinks that I don’t fit in with this high-class group of salesmen because I am from Utah. In his head, plump Peter laughingly mocks me for not wearing my faux-emerald glittering stump nose ring on the right side of my face. In his head, plump Peter is the Genghis Khan of academia, traveling the country eating up students’ requests left and right.

In my head, plump Peter is a muffin top munchkin who eats his own boogers.

Next to me a ginger recruiter from a Michigan school flaunting her cleavage is recounting how she hit on a cop last night to get out of a 30+ mph speeding ticket. The Shallow Hal pretentious tool is interrupting her 30+ mph monologue to remind her about the triceps extensions that he was pumping out this morning at 24-hour fitness. Ron Burgundy would be proud of this conceited bastard.

The bell has rung, the nose rings have started to flutter in, time to put on my game face and be the zoo marquee salesman that attracts kids to a place called Utah. A lumberjack flaunting a beard that would intimidate Grizzly Adams walks by and stares me down. Portland is much more different than Seattle.

The fair has ended, I’m off for a walk down the streets of Portland, off to get some kind of magic donut that my boss praises. I must admit, Portland is a much more dirty city than I thought it would be. Every ten steps I can smell a hint of marijuana in the air. Not that I know what marijuana smells like anyway. After about a mile of my walk of weed, I come across the infamous joint that is surrounded by homeless musicians and cardboard boxes offering prostiutional favors (I kid you not). A place called Voo Doo Donuts.

This hometown bakery has some of the most sexually promiscuous named donuts I have ever heard of before. Donuts that I, Swamp Thing the blogger with no class whatsoever refuses to reveal to my readers in my blog, and these X-rated baker’s treats are just a play on words to make more money from promiscuous customers. Our world is one big brothel, I tell you what.

Stepping up to the counter, I order what appears to be a giant joke. I step aside from the dirty donut names, and ask for what is called the Maple Bacon Bar (See picture above). The only reason I get this is because my boss praised this like it was the greatest thing ever created, almost like a mix between Fergie and TiVo. And I will admit, the man was right, I was in shock and awe from the very first bite to the point where I was licking the grease and frosting off of my fingers. It was divine. That was such a succulent sweetness, I would rank it right up there with Better Than Sex cake.

But then again, I’m a 26-year old virgin, how would I know if this donut is better than intercourse?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Suicide That Is Seattle

For full effect, download "Heart-Shaped Box" by Nirvana and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

0.01% of the American population will at some point in their lives attempt or commit suicide. Substantially larger, 10% of anyone who is diagnosed with schizophrenia is statistically prone to swallow the pills or pull the trigger as well.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I'm a scizophrenic,
And so am I.

Seattle is the most depressing city in the entire country. Statistically. More people are on anti-depressant medication per capita in Seattle than any other city in America. In relation, there are more suicide attempts in Seattle than anywhere else. Perhaps its the 300 days of overcast and rainy weather that monopolizes on people's depression.

Professionally, the number one career for suicide in the country is dentistry. No, not an undertaker, or drug dealer, but a guy who pulls teeth and fills cavities for a living. With that being said, if you're a schizophrenic dentist who's hometown is Seattle, you might as well book a spot on top of the Space Needle ready to jump off. The numbers are clearly not in your favor.

Aside from the suicidal statistics and initiatives, I will say that Seattle is actually a nice place. I really don't mind the hustle and bustle. And the fact that my career is headed down the path of higher education, and not down a persons throat with floss, makes me think that I might survive up here after all. I also deem the fact that I don't have any hysterical delusions or hallucinations floating through my consciousness as a benefit to my survival.

The fair is dying down as the recruiters around me have started to pack up shop and board the trains for the next fair starting up in less than 24 hours. Next to me, Samara's psychotic mother keeps humming the same four random notes over and over again. This lady is definitely, the definition of insanity.

Just watching the kids pass by I am amused at how many of them are toting a Starbucks. I mentioned this yesterday, but this drink seems to be the water and lifeblood that they survive with. I've never tasted coffee in my life before, but I will say that the fragrance of coffee is divine, an aroma that I think would be as marketable as Cosmo Kramer's "The Beach". Heck, it smells so good, I might just make some coffee in the morning to wake up.

Awkward commercial trio: "The best part of waking up, is the smell of Folger's in your cheapened roadside motel."

At least I think that's how the commercial jingle went.

I have a three-hour drive ahead of me down to a place called Portland? I think that's what it's called. Before I hit the road I might run down to the fisherman's market on Pike Street and watch them famously toss halibut and salmon back and forth while Asian tourists hold up their smartphones and get 24-second video clips that they'll laugh about later with their relatives. It's still a sight to see though as the vendors swarm you with freshly snagged shrimp the size of your fist.

The lights start to turn off as a meager student approaches my booth, the last kid that I'll talk to here at this fair.

Meager Student: "So what kind of programs does your college offer?"

Swamp Thing: "Well it depends, what do you want to do with your life? I always tell every student that I talk with to do what they love, do what they have a passion for. Do you know what you want to do?"

Meager Student: "Well, I've gone back and forth, but I think that I really want to be a dentist."

Cut to blank stare from Swamp Thing. I think I should book an early appointment for this kid with Dr. Frasier Crane.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Friday, November 4, 2011

I think...Day 4?

The days are slowly morphing into one giant blob by this point. It's a little after 5:30 a.m. and I am seated in the terminal waiting my flight to Seattle. There's no reason why I should be awake at this curse word hour. My job is personifying the phrase "Red Eye" at this very moment. Hey, if I'm lucky maybe I'll be seated next to Rachel McAdams. (LTT)

For full effect, download "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I will say I am happy to be getting the heck out of Dodge... I mean Boise. I have enjoyed my stay here, but the colors bright blue and orange have started giving me a migraine-esque headache. These Boise State fans are nuts! It's almost as if there is nothing else besides Bronco football in these parts.

Swamp Thing: "Yeah, I'll have a bacon cheeseburger with a large Mt. Dew.

Nutcase Hostess: "Alright sir, did you know Kellen Moore is about to break the record for most career touchdown passes thrown? GO BOISE STATE! WOOH!"

Cue my insertion of metal spoon into temple of Nutcase Waitress to keep me from losing my own personal sanity.

Last night was good though, I did catch up with VRM Garth Shiftyeyes and his wife Mrs. Quxrepdra Shiftyeyes, a couple that I can see myself playing shuffleboard with on Caribbean cruises when we're all old and wrinkly. We talked over burnt lemonade and a meager salad (just a salad? just a salad? LTT) while the server commented that Quxrepdra should grow a neck beard, I'm telling you, these Idaho people are CRA-ZY! Either way it was good to reminisce with 'em, I sure do L-word them both...

...So far Seattle is leaving a semi-sour taste in my mouth. This is one dog eat dog big city, where everyone is grasping on to a Starbucks 32 oz. styling styrofoam flask. Even the infants that are being toted around on their mothers backs at the fair that I'm at has a gerber baby bottle with a cappuccino in it. These people are also some of the worst drivers ever. I don't care if it rains 366 days out of the year here, that doesn't mean that we all need to go slower than a snail's pace on the freeways. Maybe my outside perspective here isn't the best, but so far I don't understand this city.

I will say this though, as busy as this city is it kinda grows on you. Almost like mold. Despite the fact that everyone here is either metro, mocha, or mooching a Marlboro, I think I could live here. Either that or make an extended pit stop. Now that the fair is over, I'm not quite sure what is on the agenda for the rest of the day. I might take a drive out to some random island and see if I can find the body of Samara from "The Ring".

She had better not be a Boise State fan though, because if she is, I'll probably throw her corpse back down the well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location: The Boise Airport/Seattle

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3

I'm up in Twin Falls, ID currently. For those of you who aren't familiar with the geography of Idaho (then again what normal person actually is?) it is about two hours southeast of Boise. And believe me, trying to get here last night on only 5 hours sleep at 11:00 at night was not my best decision. It's just another example of how Mt. Dew has saved my life. That sperm-reducing yellow liquid seems to be my lifetime companion.

Currently I am seated in the town's Applebee's just wrapping up a very, VERY late lunch. My eating and workout habits have gone down the toilet since I got this job. Living on the road can sure mess with that. Seated to my left at the bar is a flannel-shirt downing Appletini's like there's no tomorrow. I would wager at the rate that he's getting wasted he'll have a date with his own toilet by mid-next week.

For full effect download "Going Up The Country" by Canned Heat and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. The only real reason why is because it's the background music for this meager piehole on the west side of I-93.

I will back up and give you a glimpse of my life the last time I was up in this neck of the woods. I used to have seizures. Really nasty ones. And I tried every form of therapy that I could think of to get rid of them. I even tried freakshow WTF was I thinking therapy up here in Twin Falls by a doctor who was the crypt keepers uncle. And it was suggested by a dear friend, VRM Garth Shiftyeyes.

VRM Garth Shiftyeyes: "This guy may seem kinda weird, but honestly, my family swears by him. His practice is kinda bizarre, but then again, what do you have to lose?"

Swamp Thing (then Seizure Boy): "Oh I don't know, a couple hundred dollars in travel expenses, the temporal lobe of the left side of my brain, my virginity? What the heck, I'll give him a whirl."

And with that, the crypt keeper strapped some kind of magnetic device to my head and knees and started humming some hypnotic rhythm through his nostrils, meanwhile adjusting my coccyx to it's primal position. And no that last part was not dirty. No giggity intended. Go ahead, look up the word coccyx. You'll be surprised when adult entertainment is not what you're rewarded with you sick pervert.

Did his witch doctor schemes help me out with my epilepsy? Absolutely not. And I would go over to the old geezer's house and kick him in the coccyx if he was still alive. But from what VRM Garth Shiftyeyes has informed me, he is now literally a crypt keeper.

I have now made the journey to the local high school/zoo where I am awaiting the next group of students to entertain and inform about higher education. I hope that my partners Barnum and Bailey show up tonight. They better bring the elephant with them. To my left is a graceful woman who was born in 1845, representing I-Have-No-Idea State College. We'll see how well she turns out. To my right is a mix between Criss Angel, Captain Hook and Alice Cooper. (See the above picture) I can only assume that his fashion and hairstyle make him the poster child for the cosmo college he's coaxing kids into joining.

Kitty-corner from me I see another cosmetology school setting up their booth. Uh-oh, does this mean that Criss Angel's crosstown competitors are looking to corral some high schoolers their way? I turn to the rep next to me asking if there is some bad blood between the two of them.

Criss's Assistant: "Not really, we just know that we're better than them."

Swamp Thing: "Better like you give more stylish bikini waxes or what?"

Criss's Assistant: scoffing "They don't really belong in the same room as us."

I cross my fingers that an epic hairspray walk-off is going to get thrown down between these two schools. And sadly yes, I did just overuse the word "epic" yet again. I'm sorry Travis Kester, don't hate.

I look across the gym at one of the other Utah recruiters and receive a blank stare in return. His nonverbal glare says it all. This job really does suck the life out of you. I do love it though. Kids start to shuffle in, I had better put on my game face. Next to me Criss Angel has started practicing his levitation moves to wow the kids. He had better be legit though.

If not, I'm going to kick him in his coccyx.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location: Twin Falls, ID

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week of ________ Day 2


What? Sorry, I was just waking up from a quick power nap in the middle of the hotel's lobby. Let me wipe up the pool of drool on the green-checkered cloth pillow next to me. The valet across the hall is giving me a dirty look for my slumber. I will say that it has been a long day already. And yes, I do believe in the concept of power naps. They have gotten me through many long drawn out days in the past. It's amazing what 15 minutes of R.E.M. sleep will do for you.

For full effect, download "First Of The Month" by Bone Thugz N Harmony and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. That seems to fit the best for obvious reasons. And because the opening line is "Wake up, wake up..." which is exactly what I'm doing right now.

The picture above represents the cloth that I was donning as I got out of the shower last night. The hotel that I'm staying at is one of those prestigious fancy-pantsy places. I thought, 'what the heck, how many times do I get to wear a bathrobe in my life anyway?'.

This is a pretty high class hotel I must say. I would be surprised if high-roller douchebag Mike walks around the corner any minute now. I mean, it has everything. Fancy mints on the pillow, a barrage of the latest select porn flicks for only $6.99 a view, heck, this place even has order in breakfast which I abused to the fullest. I think at least one time in their lives, everyone needs to have room service. It makes you feel elite.

The reason that I'm up here is for academic college recruiting fairs, trying to get students to come to my Alma Mater to get a degree. I've said it before, I'm a traveling salesman. But at least I believe in the product that I'm marketing. One of the other recruiters put it best when he said that we're almost like creatures at a zoo, with the crowds going by and wondering what we have to offer.

High school admissions counselor: "And on the left kids, we have the University of Alaska-Anchorage with many bachelor degrees and a ferocious sports program."

Cue high school kids oohing and aahing.

High school admissions counselor: "And up here on the right, we have the Dixie State College representative. Careful though, he's a pretentious bastard."

Yep, that's all I am to these kids, just a talking display box that says what my school has for them to experience and enjoy. I may be a little bit ferocious at times, but if you just scratch behind my right ear and give me a handful of salted cashews, I'll play nice. And I'll tell you what my school has for your benefit. I am a traveling zoo patron who makes a living out of the presentation that I put on for adolescents all across the country.

After five hours of repetitive questions, handing out of brochures, and a few awkward gawking glances from odd-looking students, I pack up my bags and head to the lobby.

College Fair Organizer: "For all of the college reps, we have provided a light dessert in the foyer."

What? A dessert? You're feeding us animals now? This is great! After your excuse for a tomato veggie lettuce wrap I was handed with a bottle of luke-warm tap water at lunch, I'll take anything.

College Fair Organizer: "Please indulge in our delightful ice cream potatoes."

Cue perplexed/confused/WTF look by Swamp Thing the Zoo creature. A dessert potato? I know I'm in Idaho and that is your state vegetable/flower/animal/song. Heck, I'm sure Miss Potato Head is your annual candidate for the Miss America pageant and everything, but a desert potato? Where the heck have I traveled to?
After one glance at the above picture, I dropped my refreshment in the trash and collapsed on the 1% couch in the lobby. Fade to black as my eyelids seem to gain weight with each blink. In a few hours I'll be put back on display for crowds and people of all ages to stare at and ask questions to. Followed by a 2 1/2 hour drive to Twin Falls

With my luck they'll probably have dessert potatoes there too.

Location: In an academic zoo

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad