Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zombies

It may appear that I am running out of gas at the end of this A to Z challenge, however inspired by three great friends, Rawson, Uhri, and Nyquil, I will end my challenge by giving a toast to what we all will eventually turn into; Zombies.

Let's face it, these creatures will eventually take over the world, and when they do, let's just say that I am thankful that I am roommates and Facebook friends with two of the most reliable Zombiepocalypse protectors. There will be more to this post in months to come, but with my third friend Nyquil kicking in and assisting me in my flu symptoms and inducing some Zzzz's, I will always watch my back so that my ear doesn't get bit off by the future parasites that will destroy us all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Yellowcard

I'm still drunk from Nyquil, so this will be short. This band and song created some of the best memories in the spring of 2004. How you can listen to this song and not like it is an insult. It was background noise to my life my sophomore year. And it will be playing as I doze off tonight on more Nyquil.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for X-rated.

How many of you clicked on this in hopes of being rewarded with digital pornography?

Sorry to let you down.

With the month of April winding down and the A to Z challenge coming to an end, I will admit this has been the toughest letter to come up with a subject for. That being said I seriously wonder how many people will be clicking on this blog post because of its subject title alone. For my most loyal and devoted 28 followers, there will be a week long experimental diatribe relating to the topic of sex next month. It has fascinated me what people are drawn to. And if sex is one of the main reasons that people double click a download, we should be ashamed as a society.

X-rated was also chosen because there is nothing else related to the letter x that I knew anything about. (Not saying I am an expert in X-ratings). Xylophones, Xanadu, Xi, come on now, the people around the country who are participating in the A to Z challenge are facing the same burdens as I am. Rather than hash out a fictional sci-fi characters background, I thought I would paraphrase the dirty world that everyone fantasizes about.

Add to the fact that I have been laying on my backside for the last 8 hours or so. (that's what she said) Coming down with the flu in the middle of spring fever does not make my life as productive as it should be, and therefore this post will be much more drier than expected. Look for missed humor and poore speling in this one.

All in all, our society has morphed to an X-rated world. As a doctrine that I live by states, "We always want what we can't have." Men are entranced by X-rated paraphernalia because they look at their balding, overweight, mediocre lives and wonder, "Is there something out there that is fresh and dirty, that I can watch in my closet at 3 in the morning?" Probably. But you shouldn't want to live an X-rated life.

I'm rambling on now about a subject that makes no sense anymore. You may be at the end of this post saying to yourself, "This kid is a nut." You are correct my friend. But it's not me typing right now about the world we cannot have. The X-rated world. It's the Nyquil.

Fade to black.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Words with Friends

Eh, Words with Friends, that's not as cool of a game as everyone thinks it is. I mean, it's only Scrabble.

No, it's THE Scrabble. It's ULTIMATE Scrabble. It's long-distance Scrabble with a fellow Scrabbler 3,000 miles away. It's scrabble for the social-media savvy, who enjoy digital dominance of a simple/deep minded contest. It's Scrabble on Mark McGwire's Roids.

I would like to send a shout out to my boy Niels Hendrickson who turned me on to this addicting classic while sitting in a meeting getting lectured for not being married yet. Words with Friends is my sanctuary for singleness while the rest of the married world plays games such as Angry Birds, or Fruit Ninja. Words with Friends takes Fruit Ninja and pounds it into the ground like Ralphie did to Scut Farkus on that fateful Winter Day. (LTT?)

GeekSugar calls words with friends "Delightfully Addictive". Delightfully? I think not. The adjectives insanely, or massively, or ridiculously, fit the verbiage much better. I might as well be playing scrabble with white powder on my nose and chocolate in my mouth it's that addicting.

You wanna play? You wanna go? Be careful jumping into Words with Friends with me, cause I might absolutely destroy you. I eat pieces of crap like you for breakfast. And no I don't eat pieces of crap for breakfast (LTT). Long story short, if you're up for a good butt-whoopin', look me up and I will demolish you at the most addicting iPhone game since NBA Jam. Let's see if you have the nerve to take on buckeyebrock206.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Virginia

On this blog I have talked about women in my life who I have fervently cared for, had a passion for. A few days ago I even spouted off on my former delectable liquid lover Razzdango, who was taken away from me in a violent manner. But today, I would like to tell you about the one woman who I L-word and H-word more than anything else in this world; Virginia.

Virginia and I saw each other for two years and five days exactly. She was a woman who captivated me from the very beginning, and then left me weeping in tears the day that she left me. If I were to describe her on the surface, well then lets just say that Virginia was HOT! And that's an understatement. She used to put me in a massive sweat if I were with her longer than five minutes. She was that beautiful.

A Southern Bell, Virginia had an accent that was sweeter than a dozen orange rolls. I used to adore the way that she spoke to me. Our dates were more than just incredible experiences. Every day I would try and please her, show her how much I cared. She and I were very formal. I would put on my best shirt and tie every single day I was with her. We would go everywhere with each other. Long drives, even longer walks, we used to go biking every single day for an entire year together. She and I were so very close.

We had some of the most memorable experiences together. The time that I ripped holes in my pants for trying to do a stunt, she was apart of that. That morning when we had no food and so we caught a squirrel and ate it. When we tossed a book to a homeless guy while getting on the freeway. Or when I was hit by three different cars while biking, she was with me there too. Virginia has been with me through all of the ups, and all of the downs. She was my life partner for 105 straight weeks.

We certainly did go through some tough times together that's for sure. We fought, and disagreed, and argued, and cried, and yelled, and anything and everything you can think of in between. We were best friends and most hated enemies. Sometimes I didn't want to be around her. Sometimes I would lay in bed at night and feel all alone. All by myself. I would cry myself to sleep wondering why I even stuck with her. The drama never seemed to end with this companion. There were days that seemed to drag on endlessly, and I would stare at the sun, wipe the sweat off my face and think to myself. 'What on Earth has possessed me to be with this freak of nature known as a girlfriend?' But we stuck it out, and it was worth it in the end.

I made so many friends when I was with Virginia. A list of friends that Facebook can't even handle. Lloyd, Mecham, Woahn, Eklund, Frank, Lundell, Sister Gunn, U-back, Anne, the Rees's, Weigle's, Kirby's, Campion's, Schoppauls, Floydboy, too many for this post to cover. I even became really good friends with her Dad, Kirk. Now there's a guy I'm glad let me stay with his daughter for so long. There were days that I'm sure he wanted to forcefully break the two of us up, and kick me out. But that man has a long patience, and I was lucky enough to have him stick with me.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of this divine daughter sent to me. Days that I longingly miss her. Days that I pull out my journals and relive all of the memories that have been burned into my mind. She's the only girl that I have ever said the L-word to. I feel grateful that she L-worded me back. At least for a little while. It's funny, I always hear other guys talk about the girls that they were with for two years, and they always say that their girl was the best and sweetest girl that they've ever dated, better than anyone else's out there. But I'll tell you what, nobody beats my Virginia. She was and is, the sweetest of them all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Ursula

Is she not the most scary Disney villain of all time? I'm no Mermaid, but I do remember being a four-year old at my daycaring neighbor Mrs. Biddulph's house, and being deathly afraid that this eight-legged monster would eat me alive. So what if every time that I swim in the ocean I wonder if my toes will get sucked off by Flotsam and Jetsam. You can't look me in the eye and tell me that this antagonist isn't one of the most terrifying creatures ever created.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Ties

For a two-year period of my life, I was in a completely different world. A world of denominations. A world of knocking on doors. A world of sweaty suits, black name tags, broken bicycles, slammed doors, angry rednecks, chewing tobacco, humidity, and anything else associated with Richmond Virginia. It was at this point in my life when I discovered the beauty of what made me different from everyone else donning a white shirt; Ties.

Thanks to pawn shops and Jones-New York, my tie collection has developed into one of the most beautiful collections known to man. My Dad had one heck of a tie collection, and I tried as hard as I could to emulate the neckwear that he had.

I'm a silk man. Not a polyester creature. In Richmond there was a debating argument as to which was more attractive. I for one decided to leave the 70's where they were and move forward to a much more professional look. Hence my dominance of silkness.

My ties are unique. Each and every one of them has their own personal story. For instance:

* One of them is an official Ohio State Alumni tie that another elder found in a nickel and dime shop for 15 cents.

* One of them was my Dad's Christmas tie featuring the Abominable Snowman from the claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. (I have the matching socks)

* One of them I traded for a box of pizza from a fellow Elder.

* One of them I accidentally urinated on while I was frantically relieving my bladder.

* One of them I have used as a napkin.

* One of them has a scribbled signature in silver ink from a friend.

* One of them was my tie when a girl told me that she would kiss me violently just because of the tie that I was wearing. (Which did not happen)

* One of them I found on the side of the road in Virginia Beach.

* One of them I have given a name to which I shall not reveal to anyone.

* One of them I wear twice a year. (Along with my purple suit)

Every one of them has a story to be told. Every one of them means something more to me than the interwoven silk fibers that make up the actual organized fabric laced in a double-windsor around my neck. They are my most prized collection along with my box of Upper Deck basketball cards. If a fire were to happen in my apartment, they would be the second thing that I would madly grab and save from the flames. They are my sacred neckwear which distinguished me from everyone else for two years in Virginia, and will continue to do that as long as I keep tying them on.

Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for Saving Lives

The past few days I have run in to a couple of shadows from my past. Good shadows, mind you. Shadows that I am grateful for. Shadows that saved my life.

Baker Reservoir in the summer of 2008 is the backdrop to where this story begins. My good friend Blake Nielson and I were headed for an overnight campout. Good times I must say, good times. It was on that fateful drive when I learned about what would be later called the “steak on the back”.

Good times were abounding as a group of guys sat around the campfire and scarfed down some amazing Dutch Oven Dinner. Following our delectable dessert we all walked down to the shores of the reservoir and looked for some “male bonding” time. None of us had any idea what that would entail.

Let me backpeddle for a moment. At this point in my life I was neck deep in dealing with complex-partial epileptic seizures. Seizures in which my temporal lobe would force me to lose consciousness at the most random points in time. I had been through my fair share of accidents, totaled cars, bike wrecks, Sunday school lessons. The seizures had not been my best friend.

Jump back to the shores of Baker that fateful summer night. As the sun was just setting, I felt a seizure coming on, and so I went in the complete opposite direction of the reservoir as I could before I lost all consciousness. From what I was told later, that’s not what actually happened.

Fade to black.

I woke up from what I would be told was 40 minutes later. Lying on my back. Dripping wet. Muted, because I couldn’t open my mouth and talk for some odd reason. There were people all around me. Dripping wet. On their knees. Panting for air. Sobbing. Paramedics stood over me and began to put me on a stretcher. My mind was unable to understand what was going on. I still couldn’t talk.

I would later be told that rather than run away from the water, I jumped in the water. And sank. Eight feet down. As the light faded, I sat underneath the water. For four minutes. The guys at the shore thought I was playing a joke, but as the seconds clicked on, they soon realized that my seizures had taken me below the water.

It was at that point in time where I found out what a true friendship means. True friendship is jumping in the water trying to find a body that is in mid-seize. True friendship is still diving and diving and diving over and over again till you can pull an awkward big guy out of the water. And I am so grateful for what they did. Blake, Bron, Cory, Brother Prince’s sons, and everyone else that was jumping in the water for me that night, I can’t thank you enough for saving my life. Miracle is not the word that can describe that Near-Death Incident .

A great man once told me that one day in heaven I will be able to watch that great event on DVR. I’m just glad that because of those friends, I am able to write these words on my blog, rather than remain on the bottom of Baker.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Razzdango

The hidden treasure above is the greatest non-alcoholic liquid substance ever created. It tastes as sweet as nectar from a utopian fairytale. It was my classic concoction that I would pour gracefully down my throat for $1.79. It, was my Razzdango.

Denny's had it as a part of a special mix of drinks that they ran for a few years. I fell in L-word with it at first sight, and I knew that the feeling was mutual. Razzdango and I would waltz away as I tackled a Grand Slam. I wouldn't just get a glass of Razzdango, I would order her in a carafe, and we would blissfully swoon away into each others taste glands. Every time that I ordered it, I could hear an old knight in the background whispering, "You have chosen, wisely." (Name it Erik)

And then she was gone.

That curse word of a restaurant removed her from the menu, took her away from me, and I haven't seen her since. Razzdango is my "one that got away". I have tried so hard to replace her. Pacific Chiller, Pineapple Dream, Island Splash, none of them have come close to the way I used to feel for Razzdango. And I will never get her back. Somewhere, a man is playing a swan song on the world's smallest violin for me about the girl who was poured down the drains. Oh how I miss you Razzdango. I can't wait until Denny's takes me off of the menu and we can be together again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Questions

Q is a tough letter to find a topic for. I had so many questions running through my mind as to what should be the subject of my post. And then it hit me harder than a freshly opened syringe to Barry Bonds’ biceps: questions. Therefore with some personal enigmas combined with the inquiries of others, I have gathered this list of life’s unanswered questions that have left me in the above pose for hours on end. Let me know if you have any of the answers…

Who put the alphabet in alphabetical order?

Where did Noah put all of the Woodpeckers?

If you soak a raisin in water, does it turn back into a grape?

If Milli Vanilli fell in the woods, would someone else make the sound for them?

How come no one gets an “E” for a grade?

Do illiterate people fully appreciate the joys of Alpha-Bits cereal?

Do Chinese people throw hamburgers at weddings?

Did Adam have a belly button?

If marriage means you “fell” in love, does divorce mean you climbed back out?

Why would Wile E. Coyote keep going back to ACME if their products continually failed him?

Why is the letter L in the word Noel?

If you were in a sword fight with a Samurai, would you really use a pen?

How come during the Renaissance, naked women being painted was classified as “Art” when today it’s classified as pornography?

If one Siamese twin commits a crime, do you send both of them to jail?

Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift?

Would a kamikaze pilot wear a helmet?

Who in their right mind put the letter “s” in the word lisp?

Where did Preparation’s A-G go?

What would you bury a vampire in? A twin size bed?

Do Vegetarians eat Animal Crackers?

What isn’t the number 11 pronounced “onety-one”?

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

And the one unanswered question that will continue to baffle us at school dances for the rest of eternity:

Is the Hokey-Pokey really what it’s all about?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Parking Lot Pricks

The picture says enough. On a campus of over 9,000 students, faculty, and staff members and a few hundred parking stalls, this moped moron takes up ample space with his wannabe Harley. Nobody to my knowledge even knows who owns this excuse of a vehicle. Probably because this is parked at the break of dawn before school has even started. This nearly trumps the double parking flaw that most compensating small guys use who try to impress everyone with their GMC Sierra.

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Ogden

Correct me if I'm wrong, but do those five letters make up the ugliest city name in the history of mankind? Ogden is as hideous as Albuquerque, NM, or Cheektowaga, NY. Just saying that two-syllable conundrum makes it sound like you are clearing your throat of a week-long regurgitation of phlegm and encrusted boogers. And yes, I did just write that.

When I lived in Virginia Beach I used to lie to people and tell them that I was from St. George, I was so ashamed of Ogden. I never wanted to admit that I could lay claim to the pile of rubbish, population who knows how many bile-infested creatures. Ogden to me is what Tooele is for Jared Burton.

Ogden is organized dirt. It is a city that makes you nauseous just by smelling the air that hovers over it. It is a utopia for Oscar the Grouch. A place that would make Bear Gryls sick to his stomach. The place that I grew up in is a small suburb of Ogden. It's a three letter word that I will not say. Harry Potter would gladly repeat the name Voldemort, than say the three-letter town that I forcefully have to claim heritage to.

Why such animosity to these two dots on the map of Weber County you may ask? (Just saying Weber County makes me want to jump into a pool of bleach and alcohol.) I don't know. Too many mold-filled memories from my teenage years growing up in "the hood" of Utah. The fact that I was the only sober Senior on my High School football team is a good place to start. I'm just not proud to say that I am from Ogden.

Yes this post may be a little too negative. And I may be thrust down to Hell for my vile vocabulary about this nasty neck of the woods. But hey, I'd rather claim Hell than I would Ogden.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Nickelodeon

I don't know what kids are watching these days. But when I was growing up, I couldn't help but love the following shows that are epic classics in my mind.

Salute Your Shorts
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Rocko's Modern Life
The Adventures of Pete & Pete
Ren & Stimpy
Legends of the Hidden Temple

"Camp Anawana, we hold you in our hearts, and when I think about you, it makes me want to fart."

Is there a better line of song than that one? I think not.

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Morrison

Laying in bed last Sunday night at 3 in the morning, I started thinking about all of the people that I am grateful for in my life. There's a list somewhere that I can't even keep track of all of the incredible individuals that I have had the pleasure of knowing in my life. But since today is M, I will share with you the story of me and my new roommate.

Robbie Morrison comes from a back-canyon neck of the woods in Northern Utah; Morgan County. A place not famous for the Devils Slide, cow-tipping, and a few slapstick ski resorts. The first time I met Robbie he was doing dumbbell curls in the sweatshop known as Golds Gym. I was told he was going to be my new roommate. My new roommate didn't say much. My new roommate didn't make eye contact. My new roommate I thought, was a tool.

If it wasn't for our love of the gym, my new roommate and I would never really have gotten that close. It was our on and off court shenanigans that made it so we actually talked to each other. It was our competitive nature that made it so we were lifting partners all throughout college. It was one-on-one games at 11:30 at night that made my new roommate and I pretty good friends.

I felt privileged to have gotten to know him well enough, that my new roommate asked me to be one of the groomsmen at his wedding with his soon to be wife, Lindsi. "Wow! Really? I didn't know we were that close, new roommate?! You really are a great friend!" I thought.

Their wedding was beautiful. Lindsi and my new roommate had a great ceremony and luncheon. A memory for the ages. The day became more memorable as his best man and I traveled down to the reception in Moapa, NV. Things were going great until the best man fell asleep at the wheel going 95 mph, hitting the back end of a semi and rolling his Jeep Cherokee 7 times.

Waking up in the hospital, lying on a stretcher with a neck brace on, I was stunned to see my new roommate standing next to my bed. He told me he was there because he wanted to make sure I'd be alright. Forget the fact that his recently-wed wife was standing in the greeting line at the reception, BY HERSELF! Friends and family walked by only to stare back with awkward gazes and questions,

"Um, where's your husband Lindsi? Did he uh, get cold feet or something?"

"No, he's just being a loyal friend in a Mesquite hospital while his friends are getting treated for a near-death experience. I'm fine though, thanks for coming. Have some punch and cookies!"

Now I'm no wedding planner or anything, but I'm not sure if that was the exact motif that they were planning on for their reception. It was at that moment in time when God added a few more tally marks to their 'Incredibly Unselfish Acts in Life' list.

Yep, the Morrison's are one incredible family. A family now that has newborn twins rolling around on their carpet; Madden and Bostyn. And I will admit, I did get a little sentimental the other night when I was holding Bostyn and I realized that my new roommate is one heck of a husband, a dad, and a friend. That same phrase I thought when he asked me to be a groomsmen, has resonated in my mind every time we played basketball together. Every time he pulled me through a seizure. Every time I saw him standing in my hospital room on the night of his wedding; 'Wow! Really? I didn't know we were that close, new roommate?! You really are a great friend!'

I'll do my best to return the favor.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Little Things

Jesse Eisenberg had a profound statement in the epic film "Zombieland" when his character Columbus, jotted down rule number 32; Enjoy the little things. Those little things are what keep us going day in and day out. From one peak to the next peak, and all of the garbage in between.

Little things can be there to remind us of someone when they're not around. When they have peacefully departed from the same path that we're headed down, or when they've made an ugly exit off of the last freeway turnoff. Everybody has little things in their lives. Things that bring a chuckle to your face, or a tear to your eye. Those little things are everywhere. And one by one they're either stockpiled up into frozen storage subconscious, or deleted from your sentimental memory.

People don't just vanish from our lives. They stay kicking around until we can't get rid of them. They stay around every time I bite into a piece of sushi. They're around every time that I watch an episode of Dexter. They're around every time that I go to send a text message and my emoticon button accidentally gets pushed. They are still around.

They're around when I open the console in my car and there are 4 small peanut butter cups still lodged at the bottom. They're around every time that I lie to someone. They're around every time that I open up my freezer and a half-gallon of Blue Bell Rocky Road Ice Cream falls out on to the floor. They're around every time I even catch wind of anything Texas related. They will be around in the fall when the 12th man starts cheering.

Every time that I look at my broken middle finger. Every time that I hear the abbreviation for the Boy Scouts of America. Every time that I hear the word Boston. Every time that I sit down to play 'The Luckiest' on my piano, which I have been practicing for years now. Every time that I see a red Jeep Wrangler pull out of my parking lot. They are around.

There are other little things as well. Whenever I see a Greyhound Bus heading South on I-15 they are around. Whenever I drive through Cedar City, or Provo, or Millville, or Roy, they are around. Whenever I look at the gold CTR ring on my keychain, they are around.

We live in a digital world with 1's and 0's encrypting our relationships via the great device that Al Gore invented. It's a blessing and a curse for us to depend upon social interaction sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and e-mail for connections with other people. But Facebook doesn't have those little things. It doesn't have the sweet taste of a ham and cheese sandwich from Zupa's. It doesn't have the volume of a cop yelling at me for flashing my lights on a ghosts grave in Ogden. It doesn't have the smell of the air on a summer night at 3 in the morning laying on the basketball courts of the dorms.

At the end of another day, I stare at a blinking cursor and wonder if there's anyone out there who wants to make more little things with me. Who wants to listen to my lies. Who wants to read made up newspapers. Who wants to wear string bracelets. Who knows? To recount Columbus, Enjoy The Little Things. Those little things are what will keep us from losing our minds.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Karma

When I was 7 years old, my neighbors were playing flag football in my backyard when one of the guys was taken down pretty hard on a blindside tackle. His name was Kevin Watkins, and he knelt on the ground bleeding profusely from his mouth. Dripping blood, he reached inside his right cheek and attempted to untangle the skin that was embedded in the razor trap of braces attached to his bicuspids.

"This is what I get for kicking out Jeremy Johnson's front teeth in the fight we had last week." he said as he tore his cheek from the metal manglement. "This, is Karma."

As a kid, I had no idea what Karma was. I asked my Uncle what Karma was, and he laughingly told me that Karma was the thing that ran over his Dogma. This threw me into even more confusion as a seven-year old. I had no idea that he even had a dog!

Later in life, my dear friend The Swede (and yes, that is his blogalias) got me hooked on a show that is devoted to Karma, "My name is Earl". It was at this point when I fully understood the definition of what Karma truly is. Karma, he taught me was when one course of action in a person's life brings about consequences, or rewards, for those actions. It is neither good nor bad, it doesn't take sides, it is just an idea that the universe is seeking to balance itself so that all will be in order.

So then is the fact that Tiger Woods can't putt to save his life, and has gone 19 months since his last PGA tour win, because Karma is getting back on him for cheating on his wife with so many undisclosed women?

Is the reason that Global Warming is increasing because Karma is trying to balance out the sinking of the Titanic?

Is Karma the reason that I had to have surgery on my finger twice?

Here's a good example of Karma for ya; growing up, I had a buddy who at the time could be classified as a "loser". This good friend of mine's blogalias shall be Big Bang Devito. Big Bang was never "popular", he never went to all of the "cool kids parties", he never was someone who all the girls wanted to date. He was a computer geek on the surface who so many people made fun of on a constant basis.

Nine years later, all of the "cool kids" from my high school are either alcoholics, living off of Marlboro's, or behind bars. And the "dork" that they all made fun of, the one they tried to shove in the lockers, the one who used to mock every day, is now a licensed pharmacist at only 28 years of age, making a six-figure income. There's Karma for ya.

I'm glad I was friends with Big Bang Devito.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jazzfans

One phrase that I have come to finally accept in the harsh reality of sports fandom is this: There's always next year.

As depressing as that sounds, my heritage and loyalty to one team and one team only in the National Basketball Association for 26 years and counting, has been defined by those four simple, insignificant, powerfully depressing words. Granted, the Jazz haven't had nearly as much heartbreak and suffering as the Red Sox, Bills, Browns, Cavaliers, or Cubs. However, we have had our punches to the ovaries mind you.

Let me recount for you:

My initial allegiance came back in 1984 when I threw a party in heaven. The Jazz had just drafted future Hall-of-Fame point guard John Stockton. The next year we drafted another Hall-of-Famer, Karl Malone. It was only up from there I thought.

When I was 6 years old, my Dad and I were watching the 1991 NBA playoffs. The Jazz had just been embarrassed by Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers. I believe that was when I heard those words release from my Dad's mouth. "There's always next year, son." He said with a sigh of frustrated depression.

Jump ahead to 1994 and 1995. I was a hard-core fan by this time. I had posters, I had pennants. I even got grounded for trying to give myself a Utah Jazz tattoo. Granted, I was 9 years old, but still. That was one tattoo I would never have been ashamed of. His Airness had just retired. The Jazz were at the top of their game. We were gonna do it this year! We had to! Who was going to stop us? Oh, I forgot, the cursed Houston Rockets. A team that had a traveling center, and the ugliest creature known to man. Tell me that Sam Cassell's face doesn't bring vomit to your mouth. The team that knocked us out of the playoffs both years went on to win the title. Titles that we could have had. But hey, you know what, there's always next year, there's always next year.

Fast forward another three years. We were dominant. We were beating up other opponents. We were pick n'rolling every defense to shreds. We had the best record in the league in '98! John Stockton, Karl Malone, Horny, B-Russ, the Big Dog, we had it made. We were gonna do it! Until the greatest player of all time, on one of the greatest teams of all time decided to finish up their second three-peat. Thanks MJ, you crashed yet ANOTHER young boys hopes into smithereens.

But hey, there's always next year right? 1999 was our year. It had to be. I can still hear the commercial that aired on 1320 KFAN all throughout that lockout season.

Announcer: "We knocked in 97. We banged our fist in 98. But this year, we're kicking down the door!"

We didn't. The Trail Blazers did it again, sending us back to the infamous phrase.

Things changed. We lost the all-time assists, and steals leader. The 2nd-highest scorer of all time switched jerseys. We went through a seven year rebuilding process. And then in 2006 we had it. We were almost there. We had D-Will. We had AK-47. We had the shooting big man Okur. We had who was at that time, a beastly big man whose name I shall not put on this blog. We won the division and made it all the way to the Western Finals. But nope. Tim Duncan said, "I'll take that NBA trophy, I'd like to add it to my other 3."

And so here I sit. My team is at the tail end of what appeared to be a groundbreaking, but what turned out to be a pathetic season. We'll have to wait another 7 years before lottery picks and trades can make us a contender again. But until that day comes, I'll keep saying the same doctrinal phrase as I always do while the lockers get cleaned out;

There's always next year...

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for i-Life

Do you have an i-phone? If you don't have an i-phone, well then, you uh...don't have an i-phone. I will admit that has to be hands down one of the most arrogant, better-than-thou advertisements I have ever witnessed in my career of analyzing marketing techniques. But in all reality, that statement is true. If you don't have an i-phone, then you really don't have an i-key to the
i-doorway that the world is being i-shoved into.

We all soon enough will have an i-life. i-life being defined as a world where everything begins with, and is rotated by something with an i- prefix. I already have an i-life as sad as that sounds. I have an i-phone. I have an i-pod. I have an i-Mac. I have an i-bumper to cover my i-phone. I have i-TV. I have i-Tunes on my desktop. I have an i-alarm clock. I use an i-auxiliary cable to hook my i-pod with i-Tunes into my i-vehicle. Ok, maybe not that far, but I'm about to go all in that my car's maker will soon be known as i-Nissan.

Should I be embarrassed about this i-lifestyle? i-don't think so! There's nothing wrong with every single one of my digital outlets having an i-stamp on them with a partially eaten fruit engraved above it. If Apple were to go down, I would more than likely fall to my knees in i-agony and begin pouring out the i-tears. I mean at that point, I wouldn't have a working i-phone. How else could I i-blog on my i-phone with my blogpress app aquired from i-Tunes? My i-ego would be ruined! Ruined I say!

I don't think that there is really anything that we can do to slow down the i-pace. It's moving faster than Ussain Bolt plus Marion Jones. (With the steroids. Which she more than likely downloaded from i-illegal growth hormone distributors.) Can you envision it? One day rather than going to rent an apartment, we would just contact the nearest Apple store and look to download the latest i-Pad. This newer version of the i-Pad will be a fully functional digital place to eat, sleep, and i-chat, replacing the former version which is currently a combination of the i-Mac and the i-pod.

Food will no longer be needed. By downloading the latest app on our i-phones we will be i-ingesting breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With an i-dessert of rainbow sherbet afterward. Schools will be abandoned once Steve Jobs perfects i-cognition and all you need to do is stick the 14-inch long i-lever into the back of your skull to learn Jujitsu, or how to fly an Apache helicopter. (That's for you Erik) Our lives, will be our i-lives.

Is that sad? Maybe. Is it inevitable? More than likely. Am I going to find my i-wife by downloading the latest i-spouse app to my i-phone? As long as she cheers for the i-Buckeyes, i-will be fine with that.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Hoover

I have been very fortunate to have an endless supply of solid people in my life. People who have put up with me. People who have taught me lessons through experience. People who I could try and thank through a blog posting, but Internet text would never do the job. Life is tough. It always will be. And there is one person/family who keeps getting kicked in the teeth and getting right back up for more; the Hoovers.

19 years ago I was introduced to my future sister, Laura Nicoll Bybee, who was standing in the greeting line in front of her mother's casket. Yeah, how many ten-year old girls can say that they've done that before? I had no idea that her Dad and my Mom would be getting married a few months later. I had no idea that she would be someone who would be an icon in my life. I had no idea, and neither did she, what kind of curveball's would be thrown her direction.

Growing up, she seemed to follow in the stereotypical Mormon cookie cutter lifestyle of graduating, finding a stud named Dan Hoover, a returned missionary to be married to, and starting life on their own. But how many of those stereotypical young couples have to bury their firstborn child after having him for only 3 1/2 months? That doesn't sound too cookie-cutter to me. Add to that, I don't think Laura had any idea that 3 months later her Dad was going to pull the trigger on a short-barreled shotgun that his lips were wrapped around. Stereotypical? Not for many families out there.

How many would give up at that point in life? I probably would have. 99.99% of anyone with a beating pulse would have raised up the white flag, curled up into the fetal position in the corner of the room and thrown in the towel while a flood of tears poured out of their eyes. Heck, after enduring that kind of stuff I would have checked myself into a building that had white padded walls and a hug myself jacket. But she didn't. She's not like that. She pushed through it. She pursued and finished her RN degree, meanwhile raising a family with incredible kids. Wyatt Earp would be giving her the medal of toughness after what she has done in her life.

She keeps on going. Laura, her tough, LSU-addicted husband Dan, and her three kids with one on the way; Jackson, Peyton, and Bailey. Laura has an attitude that I want whoever decides to put up with me to have. She's raising a family who I will respect and admire for the rest of my days. A family who keeps going no matter how many obstacles get thrown their direction. A family who undoubtedly has the respect of Job.

Thank you Dan and Laura, I owe you more than a blog post can repay you for.

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Gregory House

I am not a maniacal addict to prime-time television. If you've been reading my posts thus far, you should already know what I'm addicted to. I don't TiVo American Idol, or House Hunters, or Justified. As sad as this sounds in the media world, I really have no idea who the Kardashian's are. Is it bad for me to say that I don't pay attention to the popular television show frenzy that is going on? Somewhere Philo T. Farnsworth is shaking his head.

The one thing on television that I am addicted to (besides a single parent serial killer) would undoubtedly be Dr. Gregory House. I don't know how one cannot be adoring this sarcastically smothered, Vicatin downing patron at Princeton-Plainsboro. Along with the Simpsons, he's the one thing responsible for keeping the Fox Network alive.

Every Monday night at 10:30, my roommates and I get together to have our "House" party, where we watch the latest shenanigans involving Cuddy, Wilson, 13, Chase, Taub and Foreman. The show is brilliantly written and keeps me guessing until the the credits roll.

House is a bastard. An ingenious bastard. An unshaven prick who cares about his patients more than he lets them know. More than Cruella De Ville does for mink fur coats. Does anyone else remember the talented Hugh Laurie from 101 Dalmatians? It's a dramatic show that will keep me having House parties for as long as it's on the air. I will continue to praise, and watch, this dick of a doctor who's missing 65% of his right leg.

That's some bad hat, Harry.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Finger Surgery. Again.

Because of my ingesting of mucho intoxicating pain medications, and the fact that I will temporarily have only 9 fingers, this post will be short. A picture says a thousand words about the brilliance of modern medicine. I hope it works this time. If not, I think that somewhere a voodoo doll is being used...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Estrogen

Something that I am eternally grateful for are the women that have performed on the stage in my life. All 11 of them. 10 sisters, one mother, and a feminine father who was taking estrogen shots behind the curtains. I think they taught me well in the years that we were together. One rule of thumb that they worked hard to instill upon me is this simple doctrine; the girl is always right.

It does not matter what a guy says, does, or appears, he will never be the correct individual in any situation. Case and point.

Today while at Cafe Rio, I was sitting down to have a nice luncheon with my proxy parent when out of the blue an overly social grandmother came to sit down and have a festival of frolicking at our feast. For the record, this creature's blogalias shall be Pitless Crazy Eyes. After a few moments of small talk, the following conversation occurred verbatim:

Crazy eyes: Would you like me to get you some cinnamints from the cashier?

Me: No, that's ok, I really don't like those kinds of mints. Thank you though.

Crazy eyes: (Horrified) You don't? Well, that's kind of rude of you to decline an attempted gift?!

Me: Wait, did I say no? What I meant was Yes! I would love a handful of those delicious mints. That would be wonderful.

Crazy eyes: See now I know that you're lying. That's terrible. You should never lie to anyone!

Had I not been raised properly, this was where I would have paused mid-thought and be caught in a perplexed impasse. But thankfully, I was not stunned at the volcanic outburst from Crazy Eyes. I would have challenged her snide rebuttal to my kind decline and/or dishonest acceptance. But I didn't, instead I turned and said the following lines to appease her testicular cravings.

Me: You know what, you are right. I should not have lied, and I should have accepted the mints as a kind gesture in the first place. I am wrong. You are right. Can I get you a Symphony bar to go along with the large Diet Coke that I am about to refill?

Flabbergasted, Pitless Crazy Eyes stared right back at me. And with a smug, yet satisfied look on her face felt at ease that I gave her the right answer. I told her what she needed to hear. I soothed her estrogen-attack on my behavior. Rather than attempt to slay the dragon, I was lulling her away to sleep while I injected her scales with a chocolate/coke filled syringe.

Does this make ANY sense at all? ABSOLUTELY NOT?! Does anything that has a monthly rotation of bleeding for 3-5 days and DOESN'T DIE make any sense? Of course not. Guys, we will never be right. Whether it's with cinnamint offerings, pant sizes being too large, or which shoe looks better. We will NEVER be correct with anything that has estrogen flowing through its system. Because this standard has been set, we just need to cope with it. And so, I will be eternally grateful to the dear actresses in my life who taught me the one rule that has saved me, and will continue to save me from evil estrogen for the rest of my life;

The girl is always right.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Drug Addiction

Ironic as I start this post Weezer is playing "We are all on drugs" on Pandora.

We are though aren't we? This post isn't inspired by the fact that I had a marijuana-dealing roommate my freshman year of college. Or because I watched Half-Baked one too many times last night.

Jim Breuer:"Get some sour cream and onion chips with some dip, man, some beef jerky, some peanut butter. Get some Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars, a whole lot, make sure chocolate, gotta have chocolate, man. Some popcorn, red popcorn, graham crackers, graham crackers with marshmallows, the little marshmallows and little chocolate bars and we can make s'mores, man. Also, celery, grape jelly, Cap'n Crunch with the little Crunch berries, pizzas. We need two big pizzas, man, everything on 'em, with water, whole lotta water, and funyuns. Yeah, funyuns."

That last part was for you Erik. Not because you smoke weed. But for movie quote insertion. I'll keep thinking of more.

Anyway, back to drugs. The inspiration for this post came from my routine swallowing of four quarter inch white circular circumference tablets every 12 hours. Tablets that keep me from losing my sanity. Tablets that if I didn't have washing down my system I would lose total control, and begin drooling out of the left corner of my mouth. Tablets that I MUST have in order to keep my day going just right. Yes, I am a drug addict.

Not just any drugs do I depend on. I am referring to Carbamazepine CAS Number: 298-46-4 85756-57-6. Oh just listen to that roll off of the tongue of my keyboard. It sounds so melodic, so intoxicating, so exquisitely picturesque. Carbamazepine is one of my many Achilles heels. It is my sanctuary that keeps me buzzing for a dozen hours while my body fights off the urges to lose consciousness and bladder control shaking softly into complex partial euphoric shock.

Am I wrong for admitting that I have an addiction to these small circular carbamazepine satisfactions? Is it terrible for me to blather on about my narcissistic necessities? Just feeling the quartet of 200 mg. anticonvulsants slither down my throat is a bittersweet symphony in my own mind.

Bittersweet because they take the pain away. They make sure that I don't start shaking uncontrollably and wander non-cognizant into small lakes as I have done in the past. They keep me from falling unaware that I am flooring my girlfriends Nissan Altima and totaling it on the side of the road. They make it so I don't lift up the entire stack of diplomas at my collegiate graduation and throw them on the ground while the President of the school is in mid-sentence. They also leave my mind and body in a sub-conscious state of stabilized sodium channels that allow my neurons to slow down their productive firing. They make me tired at 2 in the afternoon while I'm kicking back my fifth Mt. Dew. They make it so random bones hollow out and need replacement.

These drugs are on both sides of my shoulder. They are my most loyal comrade, and my most despised rival. Carbamazepine is the name of my lifetime companion. One who I will love and hate, cherish and despise until the end of my days. And so I will keep taking these drugs. I will be an addict for the rest of my life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Charles Schwab Commercials

So you're telling me that I can save on my retirement and work on improving my 401k? And what kind of investments are going to boost my... wait a minute, you're a cartoon character?

Does anyone else see what I am seeing during commercical breaks? We have financial consultants giving us retirement advice about our future pathways into the latter years of life, using big words such as brokerage, client assets, and investment contributions? And they are cartoon characters? I am supposed to take them seriously, why?

Take a look at the latest commercial that is on the airwaves. He may be discussing some serious financial topics, but the guy is a CARTOON! He and Mighty Mouse are on the same level because of his two-dimensional design.

It's advertisements like this that make me wish I owned tiVo.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Baseball

This post is inspired by the ridiculous slew of Facebook posts on Thursday in euphoric revelry that America's Greatest Pastime was officially back for another season. And no I'm not talking about Golden Corral buffets. I'm referring to Major League Baseball. Please don't stop reading if you're already bored.

Baseball is the most mundane sport out there. Compared with the other four major sports in our country, baseball has the second least amount of actual action per game. By action, I mean actual movement of the ball over the course of the time that the entire contest is played.

Sport-Time ball is in play/% of time per time in each game

Major League Soccer-90 minutes/100%
National Hockey League-60 Minutes/100%
National Basketball Association-48 minutes/100%
Major League Baseball-14 minutes/7%
National Football League-11 minutes/18%

With this being said, combined with inspiration from a Rick Reilly article I read over a decade ago, I decided to sit down this morning and force myself to watch an entire Major League Baseball game on television. The third-rate WGN network was broadcasting a Chicago White Sox-Cleveland Indians contest. I lucked out, the Indians are technically "my team" if I am ever giving more than two seconds of interest to baseball. Here's what happened in my life in what I will stereotype as the "borefest."

Shots of Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen-52
Shots of Guillen scratching some part of his body-18
Shots of Guillen picking his nose, scraping out a massive booger, then debating on whether he should flick it or keep it-2
Shots of no-name Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta-8
Number of times I witnessed spit discharged from a player, coach, or manager's mouth, whether tobacco residue or sunflower shells, I did not take into consideration-81
Number of times I witnessed a gorgeously attractive Indians fan discharge spit, which instantly lowered her hotness value-1
Number of crotch adjustments by a player, coach, or manager-18
Number of times WGN Broadcasters referenced Cleveland Indians star Grady Sizemore, who has not played a game since May 16, 2010!-11
Number of practice swings taken by players before and during an at-bat-81
Exact time of game-2 hours, 46 minutes
Exact time I wasted away down the drain and will sadly never get back again-2 hours, 46 minutes
Games played by both Chicago and Cleveland thus far in the season-2
Games left for both Chicago and Cleveland-160

Wait, wait, you're telling me, that you have 160 more games left on the season? You have got to be kidding me! Why does this sport matter? This has to be the only sport in the history of mankind's existence where you can go on a 15-game losing streak and still have potential to make the playoffs! You can lose up to 80 games and still take it as a positive season! This means that if you are a die-hard baseball fan, you have to witness another 12,960 practice swings, 6,400 spit discharges, 1,600 crotch adjustments, 320 mental booger debates, and only 29 hours of ACTUAL action? Well here's a stat for you:

Number of Indians fans present at Progressive Field-9,853
Number of Indians fans who will never watch MLB on television ever again-1

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Alias.

So I am REALLY getting into this blogging thing. And by thus doing so, I have been corralled into the A to Z Challenge. I will admit, I'm stoked to tackle this bulldog staring me down. We'll see what the month of April has in store.
Before I get started I would like to thank a half-empty/melancholy comrade who's blogalias from this day henceforth shall be J. Black Hairpiece. He gave much inspiration for this post and I would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication. I appreciate him very much. And I hope that the feeling is mutual...

First of all, why does A have precedence over the rest of the other letters in the alphabet? That's my beef? What did it do to be at the top of the food chain? Why is it viewed as the Chuck Norris of letters?

Think about it. Anything associated with the letter A means that it is prime cut, it is the supremo. It is at the top of. It started out in grade school when you were rewarded this semi-triangular, three-pronged shape for your success in academia. It continued in high school when you achieved popularity to go to an A-lister party. Grade-A beef? Why are cattle forced into this discriminatory alphabet character concoction? McDonalds should be sued for letter prejudice! Would the A-Team have enjoyed as much success as they did if they called themselves the W-Team? I think not! A is the best of the best of the best.

Aside from all of that, I had to pick a topic to scribe about today that started with the letter A. Suggestions such as Activia (ripping Jaime Lee Curtis), to Altoids, to Adenoids, to Arsenic were brought up in hopes that I had some humorous randomitus reaction less than 1000 words. However, J. Black Hairpiece came through in the end and brought up the A-subject of Alias.

I have had multiple alias' in my life. And these are not just nicknames. These are defined by as "a false name used to conceal one's identity. I have used many alias' over my 26-year existence. Here are a few examples:

* After jumping out the emergency exit of my school bus in 7th grade, I told the bus driver, Tok Yoshimura, that my name was Grayson Greener.

* When sending in a false job application to Burger King, I once put my name as Martin von Nostrand. (Tell me there's a fan out there.)

* Once while playing basketball at 3 a.m. campus security came over to interrogate and check for a SHUI (Shooting Hoops Under the Influence). I told the cop my name was Chafen Cox.

The majority of the time I have used them to avoid trouble. But hey, they might come in handy if I ever publish a best-selling book and decide to use an alias to protect my identity. (For side reference, those type of alias' are also called pen-names. i.e. Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens.)

Besides the failed TV show "Alias", these false nicknames can lead to great laughs and hopeful getaways. My one wish is that they won't come back to bite us. I don't want to be handcuffed outside a bar and have the cop say, "Are you, Brock... Tater Salad Bybee?"

To which I would reply, "No, my name is Cox. Chafen Cox."