Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weird Ways We Die

With this Week of **** having the theme of that event that's created by a black-clothed skeleton holding a scythe, I thought I would share this graphic that I found on Reddit. Totally bizarre and random, yet unique in its own way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just For Kicks And Giggles

Now that I’ve added a couple more inches to the waist of my pants, I shall tell you of another way that we cope with tragedy in our lives. One of the greatest forms of emotion ever created. Something that we rely upon, use and abuse just so that we won’t be caught in a white padded room wearing a hug myself jacket. This is a tool that people such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Farley, and Daniel Tosh have excelled at, and also something that Paulie Shore, Carrot Top, and Kevin James have butchered.

Yes kids, that’s right, I’m talking about humor. And boy, can it be a riot sometimes.

Everyone has their own brand of comedy that they attempt to display in hopes that their fellow peers will approve of their sarcastic one-liners. Some people have the ability to be funny no matter where they are. And some people are just downright despicable at how they deliver a handful of knock-knock jokes. Everyone has a different level of humor. And some folks just plain suck at it.

Insert laughter here.

People react differently to comedy as well. Sometimes they just don’t see the underlying humor in a sarcastic remark. Sometimes their sensitive nerves get a little bit tweaked at the context of the joke. And sometimes they’re just flat out stupid and don’t understand the point of the funny comments that get tossed their direction. Everyone is different. And you can’t please everyone with what you think will put a smile on their face. Take for instance a few of my ten sisters. While speaking at my dad’s funeral, I was trying to make light of the entire situation in the remarks I was giving.

Swamp Thing: “I really loved my Dad…” Cue waterworks and sniffling from eyes and nose at this point. “Sorry, I’m not trying to cry and be a big boob or anything, we already know that there’s way too many big boobs in my family.”

Cue awkward audience silence starting to process the word boob from both a literal and figurative standpoint. ‘Is he referring to how everyone in his family cries, or how he’s one man surrounded by 10 sisters, a Mother, and a Dad who is loaded up on estrogen?’

Swamp Thing: “Wait… I mean… Oh shoot…”

Cue roaring laughter from audience all the way from the front pew to the last seats in the gymnasium chuckling at the fact that I could shed a glimmer of light at such a depressing occasion.

Cue pissed off looks from a couple of my sisters, offended at my reference to their weeping genitalia.

Insert more laughter here.

The point of this post is that everyone has their own way of coping with hard times that approach them. Those coping mechanisms could be chocolate, or five-mile runs on a treadmill, mine is just a vocabulary slip up with a subtle innuendo reference that put people in stitches at a cloudy memorial service.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Food For Thought

And now we eat.

The dust has settled, the train has left the station, and any other metaphor you can think of has happened. So what is next? I don’t think that there is another letter on the end of the DABDA grief cycle that stands for gorging yourself on jello parfaits and chili cheese nachos. Yes, that has been on my plate in the last 24 hours.

For full effect, download “Just Eat It” by Weird Al Yankovich and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I would like to give a shout out to the neighbors and caring friends that have donated so much of their time, energy and pantries to my own family in this difficult situation. It is because of your clearing of cupboards that I have torn a hole up the crotch in a pair XXL gym shorts, and made the scale in my bathroom go “Oh ****!” whenever I step on it.

Food seems to be the only alternative now that the fuss of the funeral has died down (pun intended), and everyone has gone back to what they call “normal” life. And for some reason our society feels that the best way to cope with grief and stress in our lives is to deliver a stuffed crust deep dish large Sicilian pizza with a side of sugar-coated hot wings.

Kind Neighbor: “I’m so sorry for your loss, here why don’t you stuff your face with these chocolate stuffed fried turkey fries, and down it with a gallon of Brick Oven Root Beer.

Swamp Thing: “Umm..thank you.”

Kind Neighbor: “I know that Diabetes seemed to be a major factor in his passing, and that’s why
I’m trying to help you get that same problem as well.”

And so I eat. It doesn’t matter if it’s three in the morning and I’m staring at a slew of Sportscenter highlight reruns, or if it’s one in the afternoon, and I’m just finishing a hearty game of Words With Friends, I am forced to eat. What else am I supposed to do with a large German Chocolate Cake and a dozen apple fritters? I can’t let those things go to waste. I need to put them to good use and add another layer to my triple-chinned face.

If you’re reading this I pray to high heaven that you’re not Bulimic.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Chocolate-Covered Chick Flick

So last week I was trying to help out my dear second cousin recover from the loss of her Grandmother. Here's how the dialogue between the two of us transpired the day before the funeral.

Swamp Thing: "I'm sorry to hear about your Grandma, that must be tough.

The Hairy Trojan: "Thank you, ya it's not too fun."

Swamp Thing: "Do you or your mom need anything? Chocolate? Chick Flicks? Chocolate-covered chick flicks?"

The Hairy Trojan: "Hahaha. Chocolate covered chick flicks sound amazing."

And with that, I bought a $5.00 copy of "The Object of my Affection", four Hershey bars, and proceeded to make what some would call the greatest present a girl can ever receive; a chocolate-covered chick flick.

Now that it's been 13 days since this incident, and since this entire week has been a giant disaster all I can wonder about is what is the male equivalent to a chocolate-covered chick flick? A Mt. Dew doused boxed DVD set of the Rocky series? I have no idea. Suggestions? I need some way to vent my griefs.

What Not To Say At A Viewing

For the record, have I mentioned how disturbed our culture is for having a celebratory gala with an open casket and a recently deceased individual displayed before everyone? Yeah, a little bit messed up, but hey that's the way we live. And die. Do you think on the other side, all of the departed souls are looking at each other saying, "Yeah, our family and friends are a little bit screwy for wanting to have a party with a dead guy." Who knows?

For full effect, download "Paradise" by Coldplay and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Last week I vented a little bit about the ignorant remarks and comments that people make while standing in line at a viewing or a pre-game funeral party. Little did I know that I would be venting yet again about this same topic as a crowd of bald-headed men and women walk past me, shake my hand and say, "We're so sorry for your loss. We remember you when you were a little baby."

That's nice Ebeneezers 1 and 2, please go home and get your will ready, because you're more than likely going to be in a mahogany cedar chest planted six feet under.

I know, I'm a jerk.

With that being said, I would like to tell you about one of the most awkward comments that I have heard, not just at a viewing, but in my entire life. Let me paint the picture for you: I was standing near the door of the mortuary this evening when an overly sassy middle-aged couple approached me and offered their condolences. They then directed their remarks to the direction that my life was headed.

The Mrs. Born Again: "So, have you had any seizures at all?" For the record, I used to have petit mal epileptic seizures before having a pair of brain surgeries that fixed the problem.

Swamp Thing: "Nope, things have been going really well. It's been about 2 and a half years since the surgery, and not a single one. It's been amazing."

The Mrs. Born Again: Verbatim "That's so good. You know, I was just thinking about you the other day actually, because I came home from work and my dog was just lying on the floor twitching and drooling out of both sides of his mouth and peeing all over the carpet because he lost control of his bowels while he was having a seizure. And it was in that moment when I was thinking about you."

Cue Swamp Thing biting a hole through my tongue trying desperately to not laugh in the Born Again's face.

The Mrs. Born Again: "And you know, all you can do is just let them lie on the ground and just let them finish up their seizure, and then just clean up the mess afterward. And that just made me think of you."

Cue awkward silence with me holding my hands over my mouth, tears welling up not from sadness but from potential outbursts of laughter in this lunatic's face.

The Mrs. Born Again: "Anyway, we're sorry for your loss. Take care."

And that kids is why I loathe this culture and the demented fruitcakes that show up at the grieving festivals. Somewhere, Sarah Mclachlan is serenading on an infomercial.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Grief Cycle

We all deal very differently with the difficult situations presented in our lives. Some of us listen to emo music, some of us punch holes in walls, and every other woman eats a couple pints of Ben & Jerry’s. No matter what it is, whenever a traumatic event like a person’s death occurs, we all are forced to deal with it, and forced to go through what is called the grief cycle.

For full effect download “Sad Songs” by Elton John and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

It’s called DABDA. And this is how it works. Everyone goes through it, the time lengths aren’t always the same, but everyone will take steps 1-5 to get through any type of personal loss that happens in their lives.

Step 1, D: D stands for Denial kids, and may also be substituted for Shock. Denial means you don’t accept what has happened. Your brain hasn’t fully understood the magnitude of the given negative situation. You’re having a hard time figuring out why your dog ran away, or why she chose Edward over Jacob. I think I’m in Stage D right now. And not because of Stephanie Meyer’s awful love triangle.

Step 2, A: A stands for Anger. You’re pissed off (not pissed on), you’re upset. You’re mad at the world for what happened. You’re mad that she dumped you, you’re mad that he pulled the trigger, you’re mad that they cancelled Arrested Development after such a short run of glory. Anger is one of the most polar extreme stages that you go through in handling a crisis.

Step 3, B: B stands for Bargaining. You bargain with the people around you at this point. Not for a better snack from their lunchbox, but with your dialogue. You want them to hear about your situation. You want them to understand what you’re going through. You want them to feel your pain. But you know what, they can’t. And they won’t. Because it’s yours. No one else’s.

Step 4, D: D stands for Depression. The lowest of all the stages. The most saddening, miserable, and alone stage that you will ever feel. This is where we feel that the world is against us. This is where emo music, punched holes in walls, and Ben & Jerry can’t help us out at all. This is also where women statistically eat the most chocolate in their lives. True story.

Step 5, A: A stands for Acceptance. This is when the dust has finally settled and we’re all sitting back allowing ourselves to accept the world around us now that our best friend is gone, or now that we have reached the end of our Slurpee. It can take people 10 weeks or 10 years to finally get to this stage, but sooner or later, we all get there.

And that kids is how we handle discouraging experiences in our lives. That is how we get through all of the tough stuff that happens. Life sucks and then you die seems to be the best theme that any of us can use in our own personal day-to-day activities. How you get from point A to point B is your own business. Just make sure you get to the end of DABDA.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week of ****

This may be the most bizarre, screwed up "Week of's" that you handful of readers are ever going to witness and take in. I'm not writing any of this for sympathy, pathetic warm reassuring shoulders, or awkward moments of silence. I'm writing this because writing is my personal therapy. It's how I handle life. One keystroke after another.

Four months ago, I had no idea what the outcome of my life would be in January of 2012. And I will admit it is interesting how rather than life throwing you a curveball, the Karma pitcher that we all face intentionally throws a high fastball at your head to keep you guessing. Thank you my hypothetical lunatic Roger Clemens for keeping me on my toes.

For full effect, download "Gunga Din" from iTunes and play in the background throughout the entire week as you read these posts.

Honestly I don't really know how to write down the mass jumbling of thoughts parading in and out of my noggin right now. It's a screwed up world out there you know? A world that I don't think any of us has ever, or will ever fully comprehend and figure out. One minute you think you're on top of the world, with nothing holding you back, leaning over the edge of a monstrous White Star Line ocean cruiser with a plump Kate Winslet wrapped up in your arms. And then in a blink of an eye, a giant iceberg pops out of nowhere and dooms 1503 passengers.

Plump Kate Winslet: "I'll never let go Jack, I'll never let go."

Lines like that do not give me the emotional stability to live my life to it's fullest.

Again, this week's posts are not a cry for help or an appeal for family prayers in my behalf, or any other type of dramatic B.S that you can think of. I'm as tough as nails, and don't need a scalloped potato casserole or a chocolate covered chick flick to keep me going. I just use my blinking cursor to motivate me as I transcribe to you the events that have happened, and will happen in my life.

I am Jack's pissed off, tear-coated corneas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

At Night

Saw this pic on Reddit the other day, and it sums up my other white meat past time that keeps me from losing my sanity from November to April. That's right B.E.P. Longhorn, I love to have some gnarly shred's.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Who put the "Fun" in Funeral?

Seated in a chapel surrounded by people who are all dressed in black, with mascara-coated tissues hanging out of their pockets is one of the most awkward places to be. We've all been here at one point in our lives. Curse this cruel existence that we call life. And since it's now over for one of us, let us all get dressed to the nines and reminisce about our loved one's greatest accomplishments.

On average it costs over $10,000 to die in this lifetime. Over 10 grand just to be pumped full of formaldehyde, shoved into a titanium box and planted six feet in the ground surrounded by a bunch of other decaying carcasses. That is one expensive hotel in the dirt if you ask me. For the record, whenever my mortal existence comes to an end, donate my body to science. I do not want to be a victim of what I sadly view is a monopoly upon people's prideful proclamations of how they want others to view their lives.

For full effect, go rent "Old School" and fast forward to the scene where Will Ferrel sings "Dust in the Wind" at Blue's burial. Play that at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

In front of me stands an elderly couple offering their pathetic non-emotional condolences to the family standing in front of their mother's casket. Then again, why have we made it a tradition to stand in front of a dead body? Psychologically, doesn't that sound a little bit disturbing? We as a culture sure are bizarre. And I'm not just talking about Mormon's here.

Awkward Elderly Couple: "We are so sorry for your loss. How are you doing?"


The Hairy Trojan: "I'm doing alright. Thank you for asking."

Man, there are some total putzes out there.

The conversation between the Hairy Trojan and the Awkward Putz couple has died down, however they can't move along down the concession line because the people in front of them haven't finished up their conversation with a mourning relative. This is why conversation lines at both funerals and weddings are the most pointless thing created since the TV show "Workaholics". They make no sense at all. It FORCES you to talk to people that you don't even care about, and vice versa.

Awkward Putz Couple: "'s, school going for you these days?"

The Hairy Trojan: "It's uh...good. Yeah."

Cue confused shuffle side-stepping and random staring in opposite directions. This is where a dialogue including the weather should be brought into practice. I'm telling you, it has saved my life on multiple occasions.

Once all of this is over, we will all meet back up at the church to gorge ourselves on a Mormon heritage culinary tradition of boiled ham and cheesy potatoes, a.k.a. funeral potatoes. We've all had them before, and don't tell me that they're not your favorite festival concoction. Hashbrowns, sour cream, cheese, topped with corn flakes, tell me that's not a recipe for beauty.

Today hasn't been the most enjoyable day. It's been a morning of mourning. An occasion where family and friends are situated together to celebrate the life of a loved one whom we have all admired and adored. A day where everyone seated in the chapel takes a moment to reflect about which direction all of their lives are going at this point in time. A funeral is a festival of what is lost. A glorious debacle marqueeing this life, which in the grand scheme of things is just a fart in the wind.

The life of the woman in front of me is one I will never forget. Thank you Aunt Barbara. You are one of the greatest women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:A cemetery in Kaysville

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grandpa's Ipad

For a long time I have been an advocate of how technology is cheapening our human existence. Yes, we rely upon status updates and twitter feeds to keep our days revolving at what we think is the right speed. And I think at some point in all of our lives we let the internet relationships overpower the interpersonal relationships that we all have. Heck, I'm blogging at a 9th grade girls basketball game surrounded by screaming mothers living vicariously through their 14-year old daughters. I am guilty. But then again, I'm not a psychotic demon parent yelling about a missed 3-second call. I will never be that big of a douchebag.


Swamp Thing: 'And you've probably been camped out on your La-Z-Boy since 1982 watching re-runs of Matlock on a diet of Pepsi and Twinkies.'

Alright, I am a douchebag.

Amidst the dark cloud of techno-blunders that are taking over our social lives, I will admit that there has been a slight silver lining that I stumbled upon yesterday afternoon from a person who I last expected to join the throng of technology. It was a text message, one that I will always remember. For some reason text messages have a unique place in my heart. You all remember the infamous "Text-Gate" scandal last March? If not, just call up Mrs. Brown and ask her about it.

No, don't do that. She just might send you a Christmas card too.

My best friend and Grandfather has been cooped up in hospitals and re-hab centers for the past four months of his life. His daughter tried brightening his mood by getting him an iPad 2. And this gesture seemed all in vain as I spent an hour trying to teach the old guy how to turn the device on. But all of the time that I thought was spent in vain actually turned out pretty nice yesterday, when I got the most memorable social media gift in my entire life.

Best. Christmas Present. Ever.

Location:Some junior high in Layton

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Rain in Spain

I thought I would be a little bit more consistent with my blogging escapades, seeing as how my life is revolving around it this semester. And yes, I’ll give a shout out to all of you dedicated bloggers who post about things more important than 6-month life updates, and penny-pinching coupon festivals. Yes, you know who you bloggers are.

The Buffoon: “See, bloggers are all just a buncha narcisstic pompous, good-for-nothin’s.”

Swamp Thing: “Well, they’re good for a few things here and there.”

The Buffoon: “No they’re not. There’s so much better things to be doin’ than just sittin’ at a computer typing away meaningless stories about your life that no one cares about.”

Swamp Thing: “You mean like updating your Twitter saying you love the Kardashian’s? Or trying to get the highest score imaginable on your iPhone version of Angry Birds? Those are more meaningful?”

Cue awkward silence.

For full effect, download “The Rain in Spain” from the soundtrack of My Fair Lady and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I chose that song for two reasons, first, because isn’t My Fair Lady one of the best musicals of all time? I mean, in her prime Audrey Hepburn could easily have been in my top 5. And secondly, that song seems to be the theme of my life, a life on the road, a life talking to people that I don’t really give a rat’s hindquarters for, and vice versa.

I see plenty of people on a daily basis that I am no more than distant acquaintance’s with. And because of my job, my future career, and long-forgotten bloodlines between us, I am forced to make up some type of conversation on short notice, to avoid even more awkward pauses such as the one initiated between myself and my pompous relative above.

Cue the discussion of weather.

Honestly, talking about the rain in Spain will get you further in life than being able to find out what the exact square root of pi is. Discussions about temperature differences, approaching cold fronts, and possibilities of snow in the near future seems to be the most calming, and non-confrontational discussion topic that there is. You cannot go wrong with it!

You may say, ‘But Swamp Thing, the weather is so boring. Why don’t you talk about something more meaningful in life, like sports, or religion, or politics?’

WTHSF? Are you NUTS?! (For the record, that exclamatory acronym stands for WHAT THE **** **** ****) If there is one thing that my Dad taught me it was to never, and he meant NEVER bring up any one of those three controversial topics at any point in time with a person who you proxemically categorize as a casual acquaintance. Come on now, I don’t want to get shot bringing up someone like Tim Tebow, The Pope, or Newt Gingrich, I just want to play it safe and discuss how this winter is surprisingly drier than last winter, that is the safest road to travel.

If I were to write down things in my life that I know for sure are absolutely 100% true, points that I have previously categorized as “Brocktrine” they are these:

1. We always want what we cannot have
2. Whoever has the least amount of interest in a relationship has the most control in that relationship.
3. The Rain in Spain will never cause a strain.
Oh and 4. Audrey Hepburn is ridiculously good-looking.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's Your Fantasy?

Wow. Has it been an entire week since I last posted on this site? You would think that I would be more dedicated to blogging in the year 2012, seeing as how it is the subject of my Master’s Thesis combined with how everyone has those wishy-washy weeklong tributes called “resolutions”. One would only think that, however I have somewhat gone in the opposite direction. Hopefully I can pull a U-turn with this posting.

On a side note, Gold’s Gym nationwide is 40% higher on 2-year contract sales this week compared to every other week throughout the year. Are you proud of that America? And just think, in another 10 days, all of those obese overcommittments are going to be back home watching “The Big Bang Theory” on Monday nights instead of doing crunches. Our society is slowly but surely rolling downhill.

For full effect, download “What’s Your Fantasy” by Ludacris and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. To any Royals out there reading, this song was the theme music to our pre-game warm ups at Ernest Durbano field. Sad, but true.

I chose those vibes because of a new obsession that I have taken over in the last month or so. An obsession that the Half-Empty Buffalo has roped me into. And yes, he went to Jared. Congratulations buddy, I’m happy for you. Kids, the obsession that I’m talking about isn’t cheesy diamond ring commercials, rather it’s the geek’s way of playing into real life contact athletics. I’m talking about fantasy sports.

Please, don’t judge.

Back when this number-crunching phantasm appeared on all of our computer monitors, I laughed at the dorks who were crazed over the statistics that drooled out of every single athletic competition that they didn’t know squat about. For the record, a dork is a whale’s penis. I don’t know why I’m giving the Webster’s definition of that derogatory term, but as I see how I typed it, I remember the rebuking The Colonel once gave me for saying that word.

The Colonel: “Do you know what a dork is?”

14-year old Swamp Thing: hesitating “Umm….no?”

The Colonel: “It’s a whale’s penis! Now is your history teacher a whale’s penis?”

14-year old Swamp Thing: “Umm….no.”

The Colonel: “That’s right. Now don’t call people dorks!”

Verbatim, that was the stern discussion that he had with me. But then again, what does a whale’s penis have anything to do with Fantasy Sports? Back to live action…

I used to mock these dweebs and think that they were missing the bigger picture of athletes duking it out night after night. While they were crossing their fingers that their team would numerically defeat a fellow online opponent, they were missing the glories that make up sports such as historical rivalries, landmark trophies, and jaw-dropping replays.

But then one afternoon the Half-Empty Buffalo turned me on to an NBA Fantasy Sports league, and I have become invested in this addicting pastime. Now when I watch games, I don’t watch it to root for one team or another, I want the players on my team to rack up stats so that I can possibly defeat my opponents, and become that champion of “The Homeless Looking Europeans” league. (Yes, that is our name, don’t judge.)

I now think that I have gotten to the point where it has taken over my life. I’ve been talking trash to other participants, I’m calculating season projections on assist-to-turnover ratios for free agent point guards. Heck, I now know who Zaza Pachulia is. Zaza Pachulia! It is that bad!

Am I wrong for being embezzled in a growing online trend that keeps wannabe’s and has-been’s still connected with the sports that we all once had fantasies about becoming great in? I don’t think so. After all, it’s just a hobby, a pastime, a friendly online competition where we get to revel in other people’s accomplishments on the hardwood. And I must accept the fact that I am now one of them, I am now a giant stat-counting dork.

If that’s the case, I will sure enjoy the time I spend being a whale’s penis.