Sunday, July 31, 2011

Google Plus?

There is a question mark at the end of the title of this up and coming social media trend soon to be juggernaut that anyone and everyone is tweeting about for a reason. The question that I ask now, and will pose again at the end of this post is this; what is next?

Google+ is the latest movement that has hit the social media airwaves, and in contrast to the trends that I have followed in the past regarding concepts such as this, I did not join Google+ in hopes that I would hook up with a chick. All of those past relationship attempts seemed to be in vain for some reason. No, I was turned on to Google+ by a guy, the noble VRM Arizona Spaniard. Now I'm not saying that I'm switching sides or anything. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

From my own skewed perspective Google+ is the new kid on the block. The Donnie Wahlberg of digital trends. The fourth grade bully that is roaming the playgrounds looking for third-graders like Facebook, and Twitter to beat up and take their lunch money. Somewhere, the kindergartner named Myspace is building a sandcastle by itself. That's right. No one cares about you anymore Myspace. Our Dad's can beat up your Dad's any day.

I have now had a Google+ account for nearly a month, and yes, it looks like hot stuff. I feel like I am a part of the "cool" crowd browsing social networking. Almost like I could walk to the front of the line at the most happening club on the Vegas strip and get what I want.

Bouncer: "I'm sorry gentlemen, you have to go to the back of the line."

Swamp Thing: "Oh, you can let me in, I have Google+"

B.E.P. Longhorn: "Yeah, I have Google+ Platinum."

From what I heard, Google+ sold out from the very beginning. I read that within the first 20 minutes of being open to the public, they had in essence already sold out of spots on the web. It was that hot of a commodity that everyone wanted in. Sporadic invites opened up randomly throughout the first few weeks, and if you got an invite, you somewhat felt like you had just unraveled a golden ticket from your Willy Wonka chocolate bar.

"Run home Charlie, Run Home! You just got your very own Google+ invite!"

So far, Google+ hasn't been really living up to its hype in my opinion. I mean, it's more clean, more crisp, more user-friendly, I'll give it that. But nobody else has it! I only have 17 friends on this networking site, compared to my 970 on Facebook. I know that last sentence sounds like a cocky, facetious statement, but it's a true fact. Hardly anyone that I know has jumped on the Google+ bandwagon. And I'm a cocky, facetious bastard. True story.

A dear friend, the revered Roger Winston Eddingbright the 3rd, made the statement regarding Google+, that it is similar to the fall of the Roman Empire. True, the greatest city in the world did have one of the greatest collapses of all time as well. Is that what will happen with Google+? Will it be referred to in future blogposts as "what once was?"

I pose the question one more time at the end of the Week of Social Media; what is next? What will be the next new kid on the block? What will be the next Donnie Wahlberg? What will be the next hippest trend that pulls up to the curb. How long will this fourth-grade bully hold it's own on the playground, or how long will it take until it's building a meager sand castle in the dirt with a mere thousand constant users. Who knows. In the meantime, I'm jumping the bandwagon on this social media trend and hopefully I'll get let in to a few hot clubs in Vegas.

Time will tell.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


And now, I will be writing a blog, about a blog. Somewhat confusing eh? Almost like the Inception of Blogposts. Except there's no spinning top at the end of this post. For the record, I will submit that at the end of that great movie, Leonardo DiCaprio is still dreaming, hence the fact that the top is still spinning. If you want to exchange blows with me on this one, go ahead, I dare you.

On to the main event.

"This post that you're writing is almost oxymoronic." said my great roommate.

You're right Chief Kent, I am an ox, and a moron. (LTT)

I remember when I was first introduced to blogging. This was six years ago when I was still in my heated relationship with sweet Virginia. At the time I was engaged in conversation with a very clever, very obtuse individual who we'll call The Adopted Asian.

Me: "So what do you do for work?"

The Adopted Asian: "A whole lot of nothing. Actually, I've started reading these things called, 'blogs'. It's when people actually write a bunch of stuff on topics all over the Internet. And you can read it whenever you want. It's pretty interesting, and I wonder how long it will last."

Me: "Blogs huh? Hmm...sounds kinda interesting."

Fast forward to this past December and let me paint yet another picture for you. Just close your eyes and envision me standing in the living room of the house of The Ginger who shall not be named.

"Yeah, I try and update my blog as often as I can. Maybe two or three times a week." she said.

" know what, I think one of my new goals is that I am going to start blogging more and really submerge myself in that sphere of communication." I said back. Secretly, I told myself that the only reason that I would start blogging more often was in hopes that I would retrieve brownie points with this lass. Man, what in the world possesses me to make decisions solely in hopes of receiving gratification from the opposite sex? It seems that every step I took down the avenues of social media stemmed from some whimsy attempt at hooking up with a chick.

Me: "My name is Swamp Thing and I have a problem."

Crowd: "Hi, Swamp Thing."

Me: "I uh...I make decisions based on the repercussions being successful hook-ups with the ladies..."

Every man in the crowd: "Uh, Swamp Thing, we all do that."

It was because of the Ginger who shall not be named that I reconstructed my blogging habits and began pursuing a regularly scheduled post, if not daily. Here I am, over 150 posts later, and I am still going strong. Why, you may ask? Well, it's the same answer I have given you this entire week, as well as last month; I'm vain. More on that later though.

Honestly though, out of all of the social media trends that I have written about this week, blogging seems to be my overall favorite. It has its ups and downs, which have been manifested in posts that were offensive to others. But hey, to each their own. I do love the fact that I can get on and harness my writing skills in a way where the only person editing my posts is me. I don't have Mark Petersen and Chris Taylor breathing down my neck, and forcing me to adjust what I truly mean. (I still love you guys).

Blogging has now become what I do well. And will continue to do. Again, I don't know how and why all of my social media decisions are heavily influenced by Estrogenian creatures, but I will continue to blog despite the absence of one in my life. To me, blogging has now taken on the role of my lifetime companion.

Friday, July 29, 2011


A year and a half ago I remember sitting in the office of the artist formerly known as F-4 Phantom Blizzard and listening to her talk about what was called "Twitter". At the time I was just coming off of a massive brain surgery, so I did in fact have difficulties dealing with newly introduced concepts.

F-4 Phantom Blizzard: "Well, basically Twitter takes the Facebook status update concept and maximizes it to it's full potential. You get to update where you are, what you're doing, how you're feeling, and let the world know all about it. And then you can follow people and hear about their lives. You know, famous people like Orrin Hatch, and Shaquille O'Neal."

Swamp Thing: "Wait, so you're just telling the world what you're doing? All this website is, is a glorified Facebook status bar?"

F-4 Phantom Blizzard: "In essence, yes."

Swamp Thing: "Sign me up!"

At the time I created a twitter account for myself in hopes that it would be a rewarded attempt at impressing the artist formerly known as F-4 Phantom Blizzard. For some reason I have made many hopeful endeavors into the world of social media falsely wishing that it would impress a specific member of the opposite sex. What the heck was I thinking? You can all shake your heads with me on this concept.

In all reality, out of the five social media devices that I have ranted about so far this week, Twitter has to be the one that I have spent the least amount of time engaging myself with, therefore this post will follow suit. This was maybe due to the fact that I had about the same chance of hooking up with F-4 Phantom Blizzard as Arnold Schwarzenegger had moving into the White House. "A-O! Sarcastic political reference in my blog!"

I'll be here all week!

I think I have maybe electronically jotted down one or two complete tweets in my entire life. And both of them were more than likely sarcastic dribbles about something that I found humorous. And let's face it, I don't follow people. If you have forgotten from what I wrote in yesterday's post, I am egotistical. I am selfish. I am conceited like the rest of the world, therefore I want you to follow me more than I will follow you. I say this in jest, please remember. I am just referring to the overall attitude that our culture has on their shoulders. The chips, mind you.

In short, a glorified Facebook status bar is not a bandwagon that I have jumped on in the last year and a half. And honestly, I can't see myself diving deeper into the pool of this creation for who knows how much longer. It's just not something that I can see myself immersing completely into.

That is of course unless a beautiful girl comes along and totally changes my views. Because you and I both know that men always do stupid things for women.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

“Babe, you really need to try this thing called Facebook.” The Frilly Meg said to me with a quirky smile as she slurped down a spoon of angel hair pasta in the commotion known as Olive Garden on weekends in Happy Valley.

“Facebook? What’s Facebook?” I asked.

“It’s sorta like Myspace, but it’s so much better. Much more professional, cleaner, and cooler.” She replied back with that quirky grin across her face.

‘Cooler huh?’ I thought to myself as I surveyed my second date with The Frilly Meg. ‘Hey, if it’s something that will get this chick to dig me more, then what the heck. I’m all in.’

And that was the beginning of a meaningful relationship. Four and a half years later, an epilepsy-induced rolled-over Altima, and a nasty breakup, Facebook and I are still holding strong despite the smoldering embers of a courtship with The Frilly Meg. I will thank her though to this day. If it was not for my shallow attempts at wooing her, and I would have never gotten together.

Facebook is what makes the world revolve, does it not? Facebook is a more professional, cleaner, and cooler version of Myspace. Well at least it was at first. Now, it has become what Myspace once was. They say that all good things come to an end. If that’s the case, are we already scurrying off the edge of the plateau formerly known as the greatest social networking site of all time? Is Facebook ready to hand over it’s title belt to a newly anointed prodigy?

If you ask me, it all started with Farmville. That obnoxious attempt at Avatar gardening were the reins that led the Social Network’s horse and carriage down in to the spiral of oblivion. Farmville. Plain and simple.

“Farmville is the most exciting, most incredible, most enjoyable Internet game I have ever been a part of. It in fact has changed my life.” A young John Doe Bobcat high school student proclaimed to me in the middle of one of my recruiting visits last fall.

“What’s Farmville?” I asked him.

“What, is, Farmville? What is Farmville? Are you joking with me?!”

“Um… No. I’m not. What is it?”

“Farmville is the definition of awesomeness. It’s the Dos Equis of online games. It’s like having a farm, and growing things, and watering plants, and building pastures, and tending to animals, all on Facebook, and then sharing it with all of your friends. My word man, where have you been all your life?”

“Wait, so it’s like actual farming, but you just do it online?” I asked.


“No, that’s alright kid. I actually have a life.”

But it’s not just Farmville that cursed Facebook, it is Bejeweled, Barn Buddy, and Frontierville that carried the torch as well. Oh, and don’t let me forget the notorious Mafia and Vampire Wars. Those two were the brute force of Edward Norton’s boot kicking Facebook’s teeth into the curb. (LTT)

Aside from the wasted away gaming hours, I think one of the main reasons that Facebook has generated such popularity and stayed alive over the years is a simple answer summed up into one single word; narcissism.

That’s right kids. We are vain. We are conceited. We are proud, inflated, self-righteous schmucks who want the world to hear anything and everything about us. And that is the premise and foundation to which Facebook feeds off of; our own vainglorious egos.

Think about it, all we do on Facebook is talk about ourselves in hopes that other people will get on and appreciate us. We jot down quirky/humorous statuses to make others think that we’re funny. We tag faces in photos so that they will get on our profile and learn more about us. We “like” and “comment” on people’s walls so that they in turn will be drawn like a magnet back towards us. Heck, I use Facebook solely for the purpose to market my blog so that you will get on here and see how talented of a writer that I am. Yes! I am that conceited!

But aren’t we all? Is this dark and sinister avenue that we are all heading down instigated because of our own arrogant personas? Absolutely! And it’s only getting worse. A spawn of creations such as Twitter, and Google+, puffed up offspring which were sparked by Facebook, have begun to unravel any strands of humility left in our soulless stiffs.

Time will tell whether this iconic marketing website will be a tattooed gemstone in all of our webworlds. Despite all of the subtly-annoying changes made to the site every 6 weeks, or the friend requests submitted by total strangers in Swaziland, despite Farmville for crying out loud, Facebook is still holding strong. We’ll just see what the future holds as Google+ unloads it’s fierce arsenal of ego-inflating gadgets upon us all.

Now comment on my post so my own ego can only revel in self-importance.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Continuing on chronologically in the Week of Social Media, today’s post will be focusing on what some people deem the white trash of digital interaction. The putrid pioneer of spamology. The founder of filth on many 14-inch screens. The demon which shall be known as

I will submit a formal apology to my readers, as it has appears that my past two posts have been somewhat of a bore to them. Due to complaints, I will try and spice things up for those who actually read this blog.

That means you J. Black Hairpiece.

I take you back to April of 2006, in the beautiful, elegant, tobacco-packed countryside of Richmond, Virginia. I was involved in a 2-year heated relationship at the time, and was told by a resident of that great commonwealth that there was a new trend hitting Al Gore’s invention like a viral outbreak of SARS. You all remember that fiasco don’t you?

VRM P.K.: Sternly sounding like Data from Star Trek. “Have you heard of what people are calling…My Space?”

Swamp Thing: “Nope. Haven’t a clue. What is it?”

VRM P.K.: “My is a website where people can get on and speak to one another on the Internet. They create a profile for themselves, and interact with each other. Sadly, it has created an avenue for people to be dragged down by prostitution scandals and dirty photographs. I advise you to stay away from it.”

That swift cross jab to the right side of my jaw line was the very first time I had ever heard of And I was terrified of it. I thought it was the creature living underneath my bed, something that the Sarlac would be intimidated by. It wasn’t until the fall of 2006, did I make any attempts to reach out to this disreputable website, all in the apartment of the infamous VRM Garth Shiftyeyes.

VRM Garth Shiftyeyes: “See the thing is, if you make this profile, then people will get to know you, and they will want to keep in touch with you. See how mine is kind of centered around country music? People who like country can relate to me.”

Swamp Thing: Astonished/Perplexed/WTF look across my face. “Wait, so if I make a profile that’s got Ohio State Buckeyes stuff all over it, then girls will want to go out with me.”

Blank stare from VRM Garth Shifty Eyes: “Uh, yeah. Yeah they will.”

In reality, no. No they won’t. And no, no they didn’t.

For the record, my dating life did not in fact improve by the amount of time that I spent catering and nurturing my Myspace profile. In fact, my relationship with Myspace seemed to be a rocky one over the next couple of years as I tried to increase my friends, send messages back and forth, and be as actively involved with the digital social life as possible. Heck, you could have made me a Myspace Avatar at this point I was so enveloped in the Myspace society. But it was all in vain. It was all, for nothing.

And then there came a day when I just didn’t care anymore about I had given up the ghost, thrown in the towel, raised the white flag. And one evening as the two of us sat in a back country diner shuffling down undercooked French toast and scrambled eggs, I broke the news to my partner.

Swamp Thing: “It’s not you, it’s me.” “Huh?”

Swamp Thing: “Um…I mean, I’m just not ready for a serious relationship you know. I need my space.” (No pun intended) “What? What are you saying?”

Swamp Thing: “What I’m saying is… is… that I think we should start seeing other people. There’s this girl named Facebook, that I’m really starting to take an interest in.” “So are we… are we through?”

Swamp Thing: “Yeah. I think we should just be friends.”

But friends we never were. And yes, maybe the breakup with wasn’t as intense as I played it out to be. All I remember was a few quick swipes and clicks with a mouse, and she and I were done.

Every once in a while I’ll browse around to see the tacky, worthless screen with a web address. And you know what, I don’t miss the days spent finding old high school friends that I’m never going to talk to again. I don’t miss the hours spent chatting about mindless topics with fellow Buckeye fans. I don’t miss all of the spam pornography e-mailed to my server. I don’t miss any of that one bit. You know why? Because I have Facebook! More on that tomorrow.

Peace out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Text Messaging Part 2

Prefaced by this morning's post on the perils of text messaging, I give you readers the same Text Acronym Test that I gave the participants in my Master's study. If you can give me the actual definitions for every single one of these acronym's, first of all, you have no life. Along with that, I'll give you 50 bucks. Hands down. Good luck.

1. 2moro
4. POV
7. 2nite
8. FUD
9. LOL
10. RBTL
11. RTFM
12. BRB
13. VCA
16. TLC
17. BTW
18. GR8
20. RT
21. TMI
22. B4N
23. TTRA
25. THX
26. TTYL
27. BCNU
28. KRSU
29. NP
30. SH
31. TYVM
32. BFF
33. IRL
34. NUB or NOOB
35. SITD
36. ARD
37. CYA
38. ISO
39. OIC
40. SOL
41. WEG
43. JK
44. OMG
45. PARL
46. WTF
47. OT
48. SWAK
49. WYWH
50. L8R

Text Messaging Part 1

For the duration of the Week of Social Media, I will be writing these posts in chronological order, or in the order that Swamp Thing received them. With that being said, my attention will now be focusing on the next method of digital communication that was introduced into my life in the fall of my freshman year of college; Text Messaging.

Let me take you back to September of 2002. I was a young, irresponsible, girl-fearing lad who was looking for a way of carving my own niche into the world around me, also known as St. George, UT. At the time, I had joined a choir that performed all over the county to various old people. Yes that’s right kids, I do sing. The fact that I can name the starting five of the 2001 NBA Finals and belt out the chorus to Queen’s “Somebody to Love” is an anomaly I know, but that’s neither here nor there.

One Sunday evening, the choir that I was in was performing an intermingling of songs, mixed with sporadic talks about religion. To my left was a fellow bass, whose blogalias shall be Dwight I Am. While we were seated, Dwight I Am pulled out his Nokia 3210 cellular telephone; you know the one I’m talking about, the communication device made famous by the game “Snake”. Pushing a few buttons on it, he smiled and put it back in his pocket. At the back of the auditorium, I looked and saw his girlfriend/soon to be wife, Angela Milano pull out her Nokia 3210 and smile. Pushing a few buttons herself, she put her phone away, and his then vibrated. I looked over at Dwight I Am’s screen and saw the following words.

‘Yeah. I know that this concert is lame.’

Swamp Thing: Confused/Perplexed/WTF look across my face “What the heck is that?”

Dwight I Am: “It’s called a text message.”

Swamp Thing: “A Text Message?”

Dwight I Am: “Yeah, you see, Angela Milano just sent it to me from the back row of the room. So it’s like she and I are talking to each other even though we’re not really talking. Watch, I’ll send her one right back.” Dwight I Am then sent the message ‘What are we doing after?’ to her. In turn Angela Milano pulled out her phone and replied ‘I dunno. Let’s make some cookies or something.’

In a matter of seconds, they had just had a conversation meanwhile off-key alto’s resonated a horrible rendition of a song I never paid attention to meanwhile old folks adjusted their hearing aids to a mute/sleeping decibel level. But how was this possible? How were the two of them able to speak silently from across the room? This was a breakthrough in technology! This was unheard of! This would change my life!

Nine years later I sit at my computer wishing that text messaging had never been invented.

One of the revolving factors in the world these days is the ability to text message someone across the country a message that you would not have been able to do ten years ago. I can have a conversation with a long lost friend via a few quick keystrokes and an electronic signal. I also am losing interpersonal techniques and skills because my main focus is no longer centered on eye contact, facial expressions, or body language. It is now focused on adjusting the auto correct function on my ABC Word Type so that I’m sending the words Crème Pie instead of Crack Pipe. Thank you Auto Correct for the eternal embarrassment. The fact that I get carpal tunnel syndrome instead of cottonmouth during a conversation is another wounding manifestation dealing with text messaging.

This past spring I conducted a study for my Master’s Degree involving the comparison between usage of text messaging and interpersonal skills. (Stay with me here, I know that last sentence screams boring/old man stereotypes, but it is relevant to this post.) The hypothesis stated that the higher one’s usage of text messaging, and amount of text messages that you sent, the lower your interpersonal skills would be, evaluated in a face-to-face interview.

The results? Astounding in the favor of kids obsessed and ruled by text messages being total and complete introverts, afraid of human interaction. The more they sent, the less sociable they were.

Is this sad? You bet it is. Is it a joke that one can have a conversation involving the acronyms BTW, IM GR8, and ROTFLMAO? Absolutely. Later today I’ll even post the acronym test that was given to the subjects, and you can see how fast your interpersonal skills are being damaged depending on your knowledge of “textspeak”.

In retrospect, as I sat in the stands with Dwight I Am, and watched him communicate with his soon-to-be spouse, I was astonished, I was amazed, Pandora’s Box was opening up in my own mind at the dimensions that would be unraveling in the communication pattern just because of a simple screen and block of letters. I never knew the detriment it would be to our society because people focus more on sending out a humorous message rather than pay attention to the intersection that they are driving through. I never knew that the best way of communicating with my sisters up north is by a few quick swipes of my thumbs. I never knew that my life would one day be ruled by the jezebel acronym producer, she who shall be named “Text Messaging”.

But it is.

And with that, I’ll CU L8R.

Monday, July 25, 2011

You've Got Mail!

At the start of this Week of Social Media I shall begin by going to the first recollection that I have of sending an electronic message. It all started when I threw that classic waste of a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan chick flick into my VCR on a weekend back in 1998.

Wait…let me back up a few years from that disgrace of a Friday night.

Before I delve in to the discussion of e-mail, I take you back to the fall of 1994, when I was a young lad sitting in the library of Municipal Elementary School in Roy, Utah. Keep in mind, this was in Roy, therefore the library was actually a rat-infested trailer, but that’s beside the point. That is just a description of what Roy really is.

That morning, my class was being given a subpar explanation of what would one day be called “The Internet”.

The Bavarian Librarian: “See kids, something brand new is available that will allow you to get on the computer and do more than just play Number Munchers. It’s almost like a…a…an electronic newspaper on your computer screen.”

Myself: “WTF?” (I do wish I would have had that acronym at my disposal back in the day.

The Bavarian Librarian: “Yes. You see, say that the Utah Jazz are playing a game of basketball, you could get on the computer the very next day and read about all what happened. All of the statistics, and numbers and stories you could think of would be on this computer, on what we think will be called, the Internet.”

Little did I know that this fantastic formation had been invented by Al Gore, and that it would one day become the mainstream source of pornography. But that’s beside the point as well.

Cut back to 1998 where I did receive some inspiration for the birth of my Internet identity by that cheesy Web stalker film as mentioned previously. Aside from having Dave Chapelle in the movie, the only other good thing that came from You’ve Got Mail was me getting the motivation to start e-mailing people. And from that point, the e-mail address of was born. And yes, I still have that.

If I remember, I think that the very first e-mail that I sent was to my Dad. Who at the time was upstairs in his bedroom. Almost like an Alexander Graham Bell pioneer phone call to his buddy across the hall. In hindsight, that message was a waste of time, but at that moment, it was ground-breaking in my life. A life that would one day be manipulated and catered to by electronic media.

The cartoon that I used for the post yesterday seems to be a better description of how e-mails are sent and received. Back in the day if one were to receive a single piece of e-mail, they were ecstatic. Elated by the concept that someone had taken a few minutes out of their day to say, “Hey, I thought I would take a break from my day, to turn on my Gateway 6000 computer, wait for Windows ’98 to load my desktop with the flying toaster screensaver, make my phone line go busy while my dial-up internet connection started to fire up, go to the website, log in with my personal name and password, and then send you this message.”

Granted one’s entire afternoon would be wasted with the time spent just to complete the whole process, but it was state-of-the-art back in 1998.

And then there was spam. And no I’m not talking about the most magnificent meat mixture that comes in little blue cans. I’m talking about spam e-mails. Yes, the dreaded false notifications that excited you for a microsecond when you thought you had just inherited a small fortune from your Uncle in Dubai, or were the 10,000th person to receive the rights to a Mazda Miata, or a very attractive, very scantily-clad female randomly thought that your e-mail address was the one that she had been looking for her entire life. All of that is still in full force these days as our world has monopolized the moronic tendencies of average Joe’s looking to win the digital lottery via spam mail.

And now, e-mail is becoming a thing of the past, a washed up old hag on the beaches of the film Inception. If you don’t have an e-mail address, or have never had one, how in the world are you reading this blog in the first place, let alone surviving in the world that we live in these days? You can’t. It’s just not possible.

50 years from now when I’m lying on my bed looking into the eyes of my posterity recounting the memoirs of my life, I will one day try and explain the concept of this communication device to them. The device that made it so that I could talk to someone in Africa in just a few seconds. The device that made me feel like someone cared about me even though “she” was just a feeble spam attempt at unlocking pornography. The device that was popularized and viralized by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Oh, and Al Gore. He did invent everything.

Location: On my leather couch

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week of Social Media

Did you miss me?

Yes, it has been a long eight days since my last post, and amidst a near slurping down of digital media purple Kool-Aid stirred up by Jim Jones mid-week, I have returned to the forum of blogging. But hey, I’m still here. As I hope all 35 of you readers are.

A trend that I started up two months ago was the discussion of a certain topic for an entire week. Last month at the end of the Week of Dating, I premised that I would have the Week of Marriage this month. Why did I say this? I have no idea. I am probably the last person on the face of this earth who has any smidgen of a clue as to how marriage works. If I were to actually write the Week of Marriage one would be laughing in spite of themselves at my skewed misconceptions.

With that being said, I will alter this month’s week topic to the Week of Digital/Social Media. Or what some people call it, the Week of our Desensitization to Interpersonal Interactions.

Cue the background music of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show.

We live in a world where if one does not have access to an electronic device with a wi-fi connection and a slur of 1’s and 0’s, one does not have a social life. I mean, if you don’t have an iPhone, then, you don’t have an iPhone. Or you’re not a communal douchebag either.

Sad to say, I have an iPhone.

Whether it’s Facebook, or text messaging, or twitter, anyone and everyone uses some type of digital media to interact with one another. I’ll give ten bucks to the first person who doesn’t have a 15-year old cousin named Ashley who averages 3,500 text messages a week. We all have these technology-addicted relatives. Or maybe you reading this is that 15-year old technology addicted relative.

You probably have an iPhone.

Ten years ago if you were to tell me that the world we live in rotates around status updates, blog posts, or a social media circle you have just been invited to on Google+, I would have said, “What are you talking about? Give me that booze you pumpkin pie-haircutted freak.” (LTT) But then again, ten years ago I had just turned 16, had an awkward doorstep scene with my first kiss, and my main goal in life was to beat the game Rayman 2 all in one sitting on my PlayStation. HA! PlayStation.

But that was then, and this is now. This is the age of electronic media governing our actions and interactions, whether face-to-face or via webcam. This is the era where like’s and +1’s define who and what we appreciate. This is the epoch where twitter feeds characterize our own character. And what will things be like in ten years? Good question. There will be more to come.

More from the mind of the communal douchebag.

Location:My Basement

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Crazy Lady

I love the old women in my life. Especially the senile 91-year old Great Grandmother who shows up every now and then. On this particular afternoon, she and I shared a unique conversation on a drive to my Aunt's wedding in Bountiful, Utah. For the record, her blogalias shall be Golfing Granny Gordon, and may I add that G3 does not have Alzheimers, or any other mental disorder. She's just up there in Birthday candle count. This was the dialogue that followed between the two of us:

Golfing Granny Gordon: "Is this Bountiful that we just pulled into? I think it might be."

Swamt Thing. "Yes Grandma, this is Bountiful."

G3: "My word, you are getting so tall. I swear, you must've grown an entire foot since the last time I saw you!"

ST: "Yep, I'm getting up there." For the record, I have been 6 foot 4 1/2 since 2001.

G3: Confused/Perplexed/Bewildered "Where are we now? Is this Bountiful?"

ST: "Yes, this is Bountiful."

G3: "My word, I've never been up this far." For the record, G3 lives 10 minutes south of Bountiful in North Salt Lake.

G3: "So, are you still working for the Y?"

ST: "No Grandma, I work for Dixie State College. Remember? I never went to the Y, and have lived in St. George now for 8 years."

G3: "Oh, that's right. I forgot. Down at"

ST: "Dixie State College."

G3: "That's right. Dixie. Gotta love those Rebels." For the record, I love those Rebels as well.

G3: "Where are we now?"

ST: "We're still in Bountiful Grandma, remember? On our way to see Aunt Paula get married."

G3: "Oh, that's right. None of this place looks familiar at all." For the record, we had been at a red light for the previous 10 sentences.

G3: "So, how are the kids then?"

ST: "Um, the kids are good. You remember that I'm single and don't have any kids don't you?"

G3: "What? No kids? Scott, I thought you and Charity had four kids?" For the record, my Uncle Scott and Aunt Charity do have four kids, and live in St. George. But then again, I am not them.

ST: "I'm sorry, the kids are doing great! Yeah, with summer here they are enjoying all of their spare time." For the record, I find this instance a justifiable reason to lie.

G3: "Where are we again? I'm so lost."

ST: "We're in Bountiful Grandma. Remember? Bountiful."

G3: "Oh, that's right. Bountiful."

G3: "So, work is going well then son?"

ST: "Yep, I'm sure enjoying working for Dixie. Our enrollment is through the roof. Kids just want to come down to St. George and go to school."

G3: "Oh, St. George is nice. I've been there once or twice." For the record, she used to live there for 17 years. "Do you ever get down there to St. George?"

ST: "Every once in a while." Might I add, my Grandpa was in stitches in the backseat laughing at this conversation.

G3: "So are we in Bountiful?"

ST: "Yep, we are still in Bountiful."

G3: "So tell me, you dating anyone these days?"

ST: "Well, I keep my eyes open here and there. I'm sure I'll find someone sooner or later."

G3: "I sure do miss your last wife. It's too bad that you had to go and get a divorce from her." For the record, I have never been married before, and do not recollect filing for a divorce with anyone, not even my inflatable Russian mail-order bride.

ST: "Yeah, she sure was great."

G3: "When you gonna start having some kids then? Anytime soon? I need to have some posterity!" For the record, this woman has a whole slew of posterity floating around Northern Utah.

ST: "Oh, we're not thinking about having kids. Still waiting."

G3: "Well you should. That way you can improve on your golf game." For the record, I'm not sure how kids and golf can be correlated.

G3: "Wait, so are we still in Bountiful?"

ST: "Yep, we just got here. Just got to Bountiful Grandma."

Man, I love this senile old woman to death. Keep in mind this is the same woman who thinks I've been divorced, had kids, worked for the Y, and has grown a foot in the last two months. A woman who once tried to teach my 11-year old nephew how to kiss by showing him what a "make out" is. Mind you, that young man was scarred for life. And old woman who is the starting point for my entire family, and begins to tear up every time I give her a hug. I sure hope I'm as senile as her when I'm 91 years old.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm A Drinker

I drink way too much.

Don’t ask me how, or why, I simply don’t know the reasoning at all. The only thing that I can be certain of is that I should more than likely be the founding member of N-AA (Non-Alcoholic’s Anonymous).

Myself: “My name is Swamp Thing, and I have a problem.”

Crowd: “Hi, Swamp Thing!”

For full effect, download “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and play at maximum volume. Either that or download a random country music song to get the same result. Statistics have shown that 1 out of 3 country music songs are based solely around alcohol. But then again, this is merely a sober post.

Why, you may ask, do I slurp down double big gulps in the same amount of time it takes for a woman to whip out her credit card when checking out at Nordstrom’s? I have not a clue. Maybe it’s because of the addiction that I have to Carbamazepine CAS Number: 298-46-4 85756-57-6. Which in fact has given me symptoms of dry mouth and dehydration. Maybe I have an enlarged hypothalamus gland, which is the governing portion of the brain in regards to liquid consumption. Maybe my sperm donor was a camel. For all I know, I drink.

And drink.

And drink.

And drink.

And drink.

And drink.

Waiters hate me. Gatorade loves me. The massive intake levels that I have in regards to liquid consumption are through the roof. Scientists would be baffled at the disgusting number of glasses I put down and flip over in one sitting. As the great Fishmitts once said, “If you were ever involved in any drinking games, you’d put us all to shame.” Once while playing Dew Pong (which is the sober version of the classic college contest Beer Pong) I downed 67 consecutive cups of Mt. Dew while Rocksteady and I nursed a 13-game losing streak. True story.

Am I proud of this? Is this a trait that I brag about on first dates and initial contact with others on Facebook? Not really. I’m somewhat embarrassed at my curse. It is the root for the reason that I sweat ridiculous amounts of perspiration on a minutely basis. It is the fuel for where the nickname “Swamp Thing” stems from. How on earth would Tate Barfuss have been able to give me that shameful epithet back in high school? My drinking problem of course.

Ask my roommates, in fact, ask any guy who has lived with me in the past eight years if I drink one bushel after another. The Swede, Rocksteady, Phat Kid, any of them will vouch that I have drinking issues.

“I once remember when a manager of a restaurant glared at us because you had drank four glasses of lemonade before she had even come back to the table.” Said Arizona Weezer. “But then again, you need to drink to make up for your sweat.”

Where do I go from here? How do I combat this problem? Do I stop taking the drugs that I’m addicted to? Do I look for medical procedures to shrink my hypothalamus gland? Do I pay a visit to the sperm-donating camel and kick him right in the cajones for blanketing me with this curse? Whatever I do, I’ll keep drinking. In the meantime, I will be starting up the loyal group of N-AA, for those who suffer from the same issues and difficulties that I do.

My name is Swamp Thing, and I have a problem.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Manscapade

I smell like football practice.

At times, I sure miss that fragrance. As disgusting as that sounds. I aromatically describe to you the fierceness of my body's natural cologne to help paint the picture of this morning's events. A morning, which shall be known from here on out as a "Manscapade". And yes, I did just make that word up. It will go along with blogalias in the Book of Brock's awesomeness.

For full effect, download "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan from iTunes and play at full volume.

Before the butt-crack of dawn, (which in college student's time is a little after 9:17 a.m.) myself and two great friends, Offspring the 13th and The Technicolor Beaver, decided to head out to Zion National Park to enjoy Mother Nature's natural wonder, more specifically we were headed out to hike the deathtrap known as Angel's Landing.

To describe this precipice that we would be scaling is something difficult for a blinking cursor to do, but if I were going to give you somewhat of an explanation, I would say that it is... Strenuous? Demanding? HOLY-CURSE-WORD-WHAT-POSSESSED-ME-TO-CLIMB-UP-THIS-MAMMOTH-UNPICKED-BOOGER-OF-SANDSTONE?! Yeah, that last one fits best. On a side note, only 6 people have died while climbing this Halo of Rock since 2004. So the odds really weren't against us.

Cut to the inside of a dusty Zion National Park shuttle bus carrying us to the base, meanwhile an 87-year old California Raisin in 1950's overalls harassed us for sitting in vacant seats.

Overall California Raisin: "HEY! Did you know those seats are reserved for the elderly? Are you boys older than 65?"

The Technicolor Beaver: "No, but we'll move to the other 27 empty seats on this bus just so there's enough room for your unconcealed farts to plop down in as well. I'm sure they're at least 65."

Cut to the switchback trails about 600 feet up. All three of us were already dressed in sweat, meanwhile a group of boy scouts whose energy level would rival the PowerPuff girls freight-trained their skipping contest down the mountain. And to think I was once a lad who had that much energy stockpiled myself.

Cut to a group of French idiots, or how do they say it, bastardos? No, that's sounds Italian. Oh well, some foreign, peach-fuzzed muttonheads seated in the middle of the trail having a smoke break. A smoke break? Yes that's right kids, see in Europe, you have higher lung capacity but also denser skulls. It makes no sense why these Wee-Wee's were planted in the trail catching five with Joe Camel, but hey, they can do it. Plus, the girls they were with had longer armpit hair than I did. Cue a thirty-second coughing fit and breath holding expedition while we stumbled through them.

At the top it was spectacular. Cue picture:
Honestly one of the most beautifully divine views a human eye can behold. Something on my bucket list that I have now accomplished twice. As the three of us strolled around the top in brotherly love, and talked about where we were at in life, and in reality, another foreign diplomat interjected our conversation.

Offspring the 13th: "Wait, so how high are we up here. Wait, how many feet are in a mile?"

The Technicolor Beaver: "Umm, I think it's something around 5,200 feet, or wait..."

The French Fruitcake: Verbatim from his own mouth. "It doesn't matter. We like a mile up already." (Actually, we were only 1,488 feet up) "And either way, if you fall, you're dead. You could be this high up, or like billion a miles up, and you still die. It either life, or die. Life, or die. Think about it. It's just one big abyss."

Now that I think about it, that last word he threw in there could be replaced with the curse word for what a female dog is. Either way, we just sat in agreement while his maiden braided her pits.

Cut to the very edge of Angel's Landing where the three of us were enjoying the view, the mid-section of our water supply, and all of the carved graffiti around us. People have scribbled their names all over the rocks in hopes that their posterity will one day see that they made this ascent. "L.D.+ A.G", "Felicia was here." "Philgrttx." Wait, WTF did that last one say? Is that German or Swedish? How many foreign people show up to this joint a year? And what gives them the right to engrave their one-voweled surname into this Earth?

Cut to the awkward descent in between chains and string-bikini bare-footed foreigners in BYU t-shirts.

The Technicolor Beaver: "Ouch, that last drop was a little harsh. I may have pulled my groin on that one."

Offspring the 13th: "You alright man?"

The Technicolor Beaver: "Yeah, I just kinda feel like a dog that got hit in the face with a porcupine."

As confusing as it sounded, that last comment made more sense than the consonant-laden smoker's union still camped out on the switchbacks.

Cut to elevation 428 feet, where the sun and sweat had begun to mutilate our epidermis.

Offspring the 13th: "Dude, I can't believe those people we just passed were doing this hike bare-footed. If it was me, I'd take my shirt off."

Me: silent thought (Yeah, I'd do this hike naked if I could, but then again I don't know if everyone else out here is as comfortable being nude as I am.)

Cut to the bottom of the trail where three indestructible, insurmountable, inasphyxiatable, testosterone chaps climb aboard the shuttle to begin the journey home. Yes kids, this was one of the most accomplished feats that I have done in the past few months. A feat that was witnessed by friends, and a GoPro. A feat that was so amazing it deserved a blog post. Yes, those five miles that we scrambled up were a success. Well, five miles, or a billion miles, depending on which continent you're looking at it from.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Want A Girl

I begin this post while seated in "The Sanctuary" of my campus. There will be an entire post devoted to my location in months to come. As a disclaimer, I add that this will be one of the most selfish posts that I will write. If you don't want to read about my life, then you can come back some other time when I am comically critiquing Transformers waiting lines, or my sister, Princess Moocher.

For full effect, download "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" by Cake from iTunes and play at maximum volume.

Over the past four months I have been given more dating advice than Dr. Phil could spit out on a 24-hour telethon. I have been set up, turned down, fizzled out, and awkwardly asked over and over again. I have had more people make attempts at "hooking me up" with their cousins, or as one friend so eloquently put it, "If we weren't related, I'd jump on her."

Sad to say, none of this has worked, and so therefore I release this post regarding what I am looking for in a mate. And if she doesn't meet these qualifications, don't come a knockin'.

For the record, this is a regurgitation of an opinion column I wrote for the Dixie Sun eight years ago. Hopefully this time it will work. With the help of John McCrea we shall get things started:

I want a girl with a mind like a diamond. I want a girl who knows what's best. I want a girl with shoes that cut and uh, eyes that burn like, cigarettes...

I want a girl who laughs at corny knock-knock jokes at 2 a.m.

I want a girl with a good education. I want a girl with ambition.

I want a girl who doesn't get grossed out with sweaty bastards who need to change t-shirts after reading the first chapter of The Hobbit.

I want a girl with a short skirt, and a long...............jacket...

I want a girl who makes home-made ice cream. I want a girl who knows how to add.

I want a girl who would enjoy being a True Rebel.

I want a girl who can identify Woody Hayes, Kobe Bryant, Jim Thome, Coach K, and Archie Griffin without having to google their images. I want a girl who can't outthink me with stats while watching March Madness, but doesn't get bored watching a triple-O.T. thriller.

I want a girl who puts up with dysfunctional relationships.

I want a girl who is the even balance between "high-maintenance" and "never-worn-make-up-or-a-clean-shirt-enance".

I want a girl who is not obsessed with country music and doesn't begin drooling whenever Brad Paisley, or Tim McGraw, or any other cowboy-hat wearing, guitar-twanging, mustache-donning fruitcake farmer comes floating over the airwaves.

I want a girl who knows how to communicate.

I want a girl with a smooth liquidation. I want a girl with good dividends.

I want a girl who has flaws, but doesn't see them as balls-and-chains, but rather areas that she can improve.

I want a girl who isn't bothered by my secret love affair with Sweet Virginia.

I want a girl who doesn't have the names of her kids already selected, and if she does, I want no outlandish spelling. Future daughter: "Hi, my name is Kendra, but I spell it with a Q-U!"

I want a girl who has been through her fair share of "tough stuff" but still stands on her own two feet.

I want a girl who will let me serenade her on long road trips in my semi-pathetic baritone voice.

I want a girl who always wants more in her life. I want a girl that will never settle, period.

I want a girl who will listen to my stories over and over and over again, even when she does know that Tara Turley doesn't exist, and I wasn't impersonating my older sister on that blind date.

I want a girl who is a challenge. One who I would call my better nine-tenths, rather than my better half.

I want a girl that I can one day say the L-word to.

I want a girl with a short skirt, and a long...............jacket...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:The Sanctuary

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

True Art

A Rennaissance-esque pic of my childhood heroes, found today on Reddit.

Monday, July 4, 2011

No Fear

Happy 4th of July! Are you celebrating this day of Independence just like the rest of your Uncle Sam cap-donning neighbors? Of course you are. That’s why you’re inside reading a blogpost that you found by clicking a link on Facebook. It’s ok. We all do it. Every one of us good-hearted, true-blue Americans browse the social media on our country’s anniversary. Don’t feel guilty.

With that being said, let me paint a picture for you that will be the theme of this post. For full effect, please download "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen and play at full volume. Either that or "Fear of the Dark" by Iron Maiden. Actually, a combination of both songs will make this post stand out even more. Give that a try.

Good old Rock Steady and myself went on a classic adventure this afternoon. Trying to flex our Pecs and be as masculine as possible, the two of us headed out to Snow Canyon to play our hand in the recreational activity known as “spelunking”. For the record, I would like to give a Barney Stinson digital high five to 1940’s American caver Clay Perry who came up with that ingenious verb. I feel like a flexing arachnid superhuman whenever I tell a Miss that I am spelunking. Go ahead; say it out loud right now.

Cut to Snow Canyon caves where the two of us donning headlamps, a backpack, a GoPro, and a Canon Rebel XS were about to embark on a spelunking expedition. For the record, the caves that we were jumping into are well known for being the make-out point in St. George, Utah. Rather than take a chick to the top of the hill overlooking the city, one just takes them into the caves in hopes of successful spelunking.


As we embarked on some manly potholing, (that’s what the British call it) there was a group of high school kids making the same journey that we had prepared to embark upon. That’s ok; we can all share caves can’t we? As they descended into the darkness, one of the girls held back, making an extravagant display of emotion regarding her fears of luring herself into Mother Earth’s igneous abyss. The following conversation occurred:


Momma Four-Eyes: “Dear, calm down, there’s nothing wrong with these caves. People go into them all the time. What are you afraid of?”


Momma Four-Eyes: “Alright sweetie, if you don’t want to go into the caves, that’s fine. I’ll just stay at the entrance with you. And if you’d like, you can just put your head in my lap and I’ll caress your hair and sing lullaby songs until you fall fast asleep alright?”

Ok, delete the last sentence that Momma Four-Eyes uttered, but her responses were almost as pathetic.

As the teenager continued her tantrum, I had my daily epiphany about what I absolutely DO NOT want in my future spouse wherever she is:


As kids we all have fears. We are afraid of going down that really tall slide at Lagoon, or riding the really big rollercoaster, or swimming in that really deep lake, but as we grow older, those things fade away when we understand the lack of logic in our emotion-driven fears. Fear happens when we create a false reality in our own minds about what will happen if we make high-risk actions. In this girls instance, she had created a false-reality of the roof of the cave collapsing on top of her and burying her alive for three days while she had to saw off her leg mid-tibia with a rusty, dull Swiss Army Knife.

But none of that was real.

If I were to ask P.A. Green-shirted Anti-Bear Grylls what her reasoning was behind not spelunking, she would have given in her mind a very valid argument as to what was so risky and negative about it. But in reality, in a logical sense, her defense was a simple rush of emotions triggered by a mind-set that she created of non-existing events occurring in her life. That’s all that fear is.

From an adult’s, or as I like to call it, a big kid’s perspective, what is there to be afraid of in this world? Is it the deep, dark caves? Is it the 70-foot cliff jumper’s Mecca in Gunlock? Is it the possibility that the really hot girl we’ve been eyeing will be turning us down for a date? Why do we create these semi-apocalyptic scenarios in our minds that are the cause of total and utter destruction of who we are, when from a grander perspective they are merely farts in the wind?

I don’t know. I don’t know why fear exists. There is much more to this post in months to come. Heck, for all I know there could be a Week of Fear brewing sometime in October. But for the moment, and for that instance when I saw a shriveling teenager sit at the entrance of Snow Canyon caves waiting for a good couple of hours while her friends and peers enjoyed some of the best spelunking that they ever had, I came to an understanding that wherever my wife is. She had better not be afraid.

Cut to Black

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

12:47 a.m.-What should I blog about tonight? I have no idea. Ooh, "Family Guy" is on Adult Swim. This show really has gone downhill these past few years. It's too bad that it hasn't been cancelled for a fourth time. Hmm... I sure miss the show "Scrubs". Too bad that got cancelled as well. Why do they call them Scrubs? I wonder where that phrase came from. Maybe I'll check Wikipedia. That site will tell you anything. But then again, who knows if it's the truth. Someone could be making up historical punch lines to events that never happened. Nothing wrong with that I guess, I lie and tell stories all the time.

2:51 a.m.-Ahhhh, gotta love "How I Met Your Mother". Is it sad that I have watched the entire Season 4 in just 8 hours today? Shows how productive I've been. I wonder how I'll tell my own kids how I met their mother. Wait a minute, have I met her already? Gosh, this is so confusing? This is a conundrum. Where did that word come from in the first place? Co. Nun. Drum. That almost sounds like two Catholic Sisters trying to start a percussion revolution. Hmm, I might pay to watch that.

5:18 a.m.-That was one weird dream. Almost like I was in Back to the Future. But in real life. If I were to pick a movie to be in it would probably be Robin Hood. But the one with Kevin Costner, not that joke with Cary Elwes. Man, I'm too critical of movies. I'm even critiquing films in my subconscious dreams now. I've got issues it seems like. Don't we all? This is kind of annoying that I'm waking up at five in the morning on a weekend. I need some good old sleep. Oh, don't we all.

11:58 a.m.-Wait, Chief Kent locked himself out of the apartment? His four phone calls and repeated doorbell ringing was the best alarm clock that I've had in a while. Poor kid, he must have been out there for a good solid hour and a half. In this heat. I'd be sweating like a beast out there. But then again, I sweat just playing the piano. Dang, there has to be some kind of prescription medication I can take so that people don't think I have just run through a set of sprinklers when I'm at work answering e-mails. I need some more sleep.

3:41 p.m.-Whew! Now that was a heck of a nap. Way to waste away my Saturday afternoon by not getting my lazy butt out of bed. Somewhere, my grandpa is shaking his head at my laziness. Oh well. I sort of feel bad for guys like J. Black Hairpiece and B.E.P. Longhorn, they would never be able to sleep in this long. Oh, the joys of living the single life. Eh, joys. If that's what we call them. Maybe I'll get out of bed in the next 45 minutes or so...

5:10 p.m.-Man I hate those ASPCA commercials trying to guilt the public into buying the life of a poor animal. I don't think that I'll ever want to hear another Sarah McLaughlin song now that she's standing up for the rights of a 3-legged, one-eyed chihuahua. Nothing against pets or anything, but why should we care about something that has a 4-second attention span/memory bank. I am too cruel. Oh well. I gotta get my butt off this bed and go do something. I think Gold's Gym is awaiting.

7:32 p.m.-Never thought I would get kicked off the court by a group of polygamist guys wanting to play ball. But then again the 6 to 1 ratio was heavily in their favor. Why did they play ball in those levi shirts and pants? There's no way I could deal with that. Oh well though. My life is wasting away this afternoon. I seriously don't think I have accomplished anything. Heck, Rock Steady and Roger Winston Eddingbright the 3rd have accomplished more today with their 8-consecutive win streak on Black Ops. Dang I need a wife these days. A wife who's name isn't Black Ops. Oh well, guess I'll look to my computer for productivity. What am I going to blog about today? Hmmm. Oh look, "Family Guy" is on...