Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Facebook Execution

“On this day shall I send forth a decree, that whomever does not contact me within the next hour and tell me in seventeen different ways how much they love and adore me, how incredibly wonderful I am in their life, and how heartbroken they would be if I was not a part of their networking circles, I shall ultimately delete them from the face of my social media existence, and ban them from any future contact.” 

That’s how big of a douche you sound like.

For full effect, download “Red Cotton” by Elvis Costello, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. 

On a side note, this having absolutely nothing to do with this post whatsoever, last night while laying in a hotel bed in the middle of somewhere, I began to get a sudden sharp pain in my chest, thus caused by my two and a half hour long flexing session of my pectorals while watching “Skyfall”.  Tell me, who doesn’t watch James Bond movies in manly positions?

I would like to social media slap the next schmuck that writes a post about how they’re “cleaning up” or “tightening” their Facebook friends list, and by doing so are deleting any friends who they don’t feel matter to them anymore.  You and I both know that’s just a cover for a load of crock.  The only reason you would ever post an egotistical status like that is if you’re fishing for compliments from a barrel full of Facebook carp.

For the record, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and any other form of social networking has turned our society into a bowl of egotistical dipsticks.  We are people who live and breathe for thumbs up and positive comments on the troubles we’re going through in life, for hashtags we make about motivational pictures with inspirational quotes, or for a burnt sienna pic taken of the spinach/soymilk breakfast shake we’re about to eat. Heck, I even fall into this narcissistic category myself.  Why do you think I post my blog as a status? It’s so I can check how many of you will read this two hours later and then have my self-esteem boosted a few more levels when you comment about how great of a writer I am. 

Go ahead, you can do this for me now. I can wait.   

But taking narcissism to a whole new level is when a few of you pompous putzes make the bold statement that you are going to be deleting a whole slew of handshake-only friends from your list, and leaving only the “true, remaining, stalwart loyalists that have stuck by you over the years.”  Come on now, if you post something like that, you probably don’t have those true, remaining, stalwart loyalists anymore.  You never have.  You’re only saying this because you want more people to adore you.  You want more people to come out of the woodworks after reading that status and text, IM, e-mail, call, post any way possible that they belong on your friends list.  You want the satisfaction of knowing that other people care about you, and gave more than three milliseconds of a glance at what you wrote, and went out of their way with an extra mouseclick to tell you that they almost L-word you. 

It’s a load of crap I tell you. 

If you come to a point where you feel that the value in your Internet connection isn’t really there anymore, why don’t you man (or woman) up and just delete them from your list without the public broadcasting? I’ve had plenty of those in my life.  Steve Christensen from Municipal Elementary, gone.  Jamie my-last-name-changes-every-time-I-get-divorced, axed.  That one girl whose name starts with a K that lost interest in dating me once she found out I was interested, off the list.  We all have people who if they get hit by a grand piano in the middle of the sidewalk, we wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep over, so why do you need to fish for compliments from them with Facebook ultimatums?

It’s because you don’t think that you’re amazing.  And you need someone else to tell you that you are. 

That’s the most groan-inducing, head-slapping, pathetic point of relationships created by modern technology.  We need, nay, we thrive off of emotional gratification from others. Everyone does.  But do you need that extra push by challenging the X-number of friends on your list to flaunt you with compliments and pray that they aren’t deleted from your imminent social media demolition? 

No, you don’t. You’re better than that. Now like this post, and move on with your life scrolling down the Facebook feed like everyone else. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why Don't You Just Grow Up!

Kyle and Amy are expecting me to write about a series of events that happened last night at Sonora Grill, but no. What happened last night is not blog-worthy. It's not even journal-worthy. In fact last night at 11:41 pm all I wrote was:

Went to the gym, pumped up my tires, something happened from 7-10 that I don't really remember.
-Swamp Thing

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

For the record, and this is a completely off-topic tangent, if you reading this shall ever be present at the day of my wedding luncheon, I prohibit, nay I forbid you to ever clink the side of your glass with a spoon in hopes that I will kiss my just ceremoniously given-bride. If you do clink your glass I will not kiss her, but I will kiss you; in the most disgusting, PG-13-rated way possible, ensuring that no one ever clinks their glass again. I don't care if you're a 30-year old bachelor, or a 93-year old Great Grandma. I'm not forking over three grand for a public make out session.

Whew! Back to the wedding festivities now

When I graduated from the school that shall not be named, I had a group of friends, ten guys to be specific, that I was very close with. Of course, we all have similar situational friends such as this, but there were ten of us that were inseparable in our years wearing black and gold (green and white for you, Kyle). It's been nearly a decade since we have gotten together, and I must admit, whenever we do meet up we unconsciously assume the roles that we were all assigned over ten years ago. I of course, take over the role of a 6'5" ten-year old.

And I love it.

Out of the ten, I was the second youngest, and I was the least mature of all of us. Who was nearly arrested for throwing rotten peaches at Subaru Outbacks on the highway? This guy. Who got hopped up taking shots of Sprite syrup that was conveniently gifted to us from the Cinemark complex? I did. Who wore a bright purple suit to church? That's right, me.

And so we sat at a wedding luncheon, half of the original ten, toting wives and girlfriends and discussing boring things like life insurance and daycare prices for multiple kids, meanwhile the 27-year old third grader that I am smashed brownies in my teeth and asked the waitress if I needed to floss.

And you honestly wonder how I am still a single man.

But that's the thing, I L-word being the littlest kid in our group. I'm comfortable with not having to worry about finding a babysitter on a Tuesday night so I can go play ball with my buddies. I like that I don't need to deal with a set of awful in-laws every other holiday. I enjoy the fact that I don't need to check in with who all of you call "the old ball-and-chain" and let her know I'm going to lunch with my co-workers.

After 27 years, maybe I'm enjoying this life too much...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Games With Dead People

In my spare time after midnight, I can usually be caught holding my iPhone in the dark trying to come up with a seven-letter word that will use both the TL and TW squares to maximize my score on a very simple game downloaded from iTunes. Yes, I play a game that is essentially Scrabble for Social Media, or what is also known as Words With Friends.

For full effect, download “Word Up” by Cameo and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Words With Friends can be addicting at times. Especially when you are as good as I am at destroying your competition. Seriously, I am that amazing at Words With Friends. Go ahead and challenge me and I’ll beat your face so hard into your 4-inch screen you’ll cry pixels. I am that good at Words With Friends. Ask Sara Sheen, Kelli Young, or Jeremiah Rawson, I can’t be toppled.

Now don’t judge me too soon, this post is not about inflating my ego and bragging to you about my linguistic creative skills with seven-letter words. This post is about a disturbing suggestion that the most advanced form of artificial intelligence offered when I recently logged on to play Words With Friends.

You see, to generate more traffic and more advertising revenue, Words With Friends will often prompt you to begin playing more games with the people you know. Therefore cutting into your interpersonal communication time, lowering your social interaction, and more prone to seeing pop-up ads on your phone. As I logged in to play the other night, I couldn’t help but be a little stunned at the recommendation that WWF was giving me; which was to begin a game with my Great-Aunt Barbara.

Who is dead.

Yes kids, you read that correctly, Social Media Scrabble suggested that I start a game with a woman who was pumped with formaldehyde and buried in the ground over a year ago. That is what is wrong with artificial intelligence. It isn’t right all the time. It thinks I’m on the same grammatical level as a deceased Grandma. What’s going to happen next? Is my Great-Grandpa going to challenge me to a game of SongPop from beyond the grave?

What’s worse is that this game thinks we play at the same pace. Go ahead, look at the picture again, the caption says, “Start a game with Barbara. Plays at your pace!” How slow are they assuming that I play? It’s not like I wait six months in between moves. Plus, are they taking into consideration that I am actually not a potential zombie? I’m still walking around kicking. Therefore it has no right in comparing me to a lady whose internal organs and brainwaves are no longer functioning!

Now I love my Aunt Barbara, rest her soul, and I understand that the marketing techniques for Words With Friends are simply using a basic algorithm to randomly select profiles from my Facebook Friends list and then plug them into game prompts for me, ultimately so they can generate more revenue from 15-second ads that pop up in between turns; but honestly is there any team of social media researchers out there that might give more of a millisecond thought about whether or not they should add dead relatives as potential opponents?

But then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my Great-Aunt Barbara didn’t actually die. Maybe she just faked her own death, viewing, funeral, burial, and potato casserole buffet all so she could peacefully lay in the Kaysville Cemetery in a velvet cushioned coffin and play Words With Friends all day long, scaring the wits out of all of her loved ones when they get prompts to play with someone who they think kicked the bucket last year!

For some reason, that sounds like the plotline for the next Stephenie Meyers novel.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Life of Ryan Ward

Today I want to tell you about the best companion that I had for only 22 days of my life.

Ryan Nathaniel Ward was paired up with me on the first day we both were sent down to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah back in the summer of 2004. At first, I thought Ryan was just some quiet weird kid from Layton who hadn’t been given the memo that pocket protectors were never the “in” thing to wear. But as time went on I realized he was his own man, and he didn’t care what anyone else thought of him. And I respected him for that.

The kid was consistent. For three straight weeks he only ate Bran cereal. That’s right kids, nothing but Bran cereal. We all used to wonder why he had such a stomach for six bowls a day, and he would just give us back his quirky smile and say, “I just love Bran. Don’t judge me.” To this day I still can’t figure out why he ate so much Bran cereal, but out of anyone I have ever met, he had the most consistent bowel movements. Don’t tell me that’s something you wouldn’t be proud to flash on a resumé.

Ryan had a great heart. One bigger than most Grandmothers are at Christmas. He loved and cared about everyone he came in contact with. I knew the kid loved me when after only being together ten minutes I decided to scare his pants off with an unplanned seizure. Waking up in a drool, all Ryan did was wipe my mouth off with his tie and help me get back on my feet. The guy stuck by my side, and cried with me whenever I felt down. He was a giant walking bear hug.

Ryan had a deep respect for the music industry, punk music to be specific. I think he loved music even more than he loved Bran, which says a lot. When we met, digital music marketing was in its prime with many of us, including myself, pawning off free downloads as quickly as possible. “You probably live off of Napster and Limewire don’t you?” I asked him. “Nope, not at all.” He said. “Out of respect for the musicians and the hard work they put in, I’m not going to ever succumb to that kind of stuff.” You tell me what average 19-year old who wants free stuff says that.

But that’s the thing, Ryan was never average.

He is a kid of your dreams. The kind of friend you would sneak out of your house to play Ninja Turtles video games with at 1 am. A kid that would go with you on late-night drives filled with Taco Bell and venting sessions about bad dates. He’s someone who you want on your team no matter what the contest is. He is a man that you want your little sister to meet at a church dance and hopefully fall in love with so you can legally call him your brother, he is that kind of a man.

The last time I saw him was this past summer when he made the trek down to St. George to meet with an academic advisor, and look to transfer down to Dixie State to wrap up his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, which was less than a year away. “I want to get my Master’s and then go on for my PhD.” He told me. “I think it’s interesting how people behave and act, and I want to pursue a career in that field, and do all that I can to help others.” Again, he had a heart of gold, and wanted to give everything he could to serve. In today’s world people like him don’t exist.

A few days ago I found out that Ryan had been given a bad dosage of body building supplements that entered his bloodstream and made his heart stop beating before the ambulance could make it back to the hospital in time. News like that makes you want to want to curl up into a ball and sob like a little girl. Ryan is a man who was unfairly taken too soon, stunning everyone around him. Hearing about him dying makes me want to give you a hug.

Life goes on, people change, we all adapt to the circumstances and fortunes that are handed down to us, that's just the way things go. As for Ryan Ward, he was a man who I admired, who I respected, who I loved, and who I will always remember as the best companion I had for 22 days. Being around Ryan made me want to be a better person. And I’m willing to bet you feel the same after reading this post. Time will pass and I can guarantee I am not the only one who will miss the loving person he was to everyone that surrounded him. Truly, he was a giant among men.

Love ya buddy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Schizophrenic Girlfriends Aren't That Bad

I lie to the women who cut my hair.

And I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

For full effect download "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton and play at maximum volume throughout he duration of this post.

The shallow relationship that exists between a single man and the woman cutting his hair is something of absolute beauty. You spill your guts while she shaves your neck and after twenty minutes of interpersonal disposal, both of you forget any single speck about the other and move on in your separate lives. It's like the relationship you have with a stranger on a red-eye flight to Boise. Except with scissors.

The following conversation took place this afternoon as a lovely mother of two named, oh let's see, what shall I make her alias, Shirley? Yeah, lets go with that, gave me one of the most terrific haircuts I've had in a few weeks, meanwhile I told one of the most elaborate fibs known to all story tellers. By the way Ashlee, don't get jealous, my heart still resides at Varsity Cuts.

Shirley: "So are you from around here?"

Swamp Thing: "Actually no, I just moved down here to Utah yesterday, came all the way from Toronto."

Shirley: "Canada eh? (accidental pun not intended) Well what brought you down here?"

Swamp Thing: "Well, it's a long story, but lets just say this. You know that Manti Te'o dude who got duped by thinking he dated a girl online, when she actually didn't exist?"

Shirley: "Oh yeah, I heard about that."

Swamp Thing: "Yeah, well that same thing happened to this guy. And so now, I'm living out of a U-Haul in a place called Bounteeful. Is that how you pronounce it?"

Shirley: "Wait, so you moved all the way out here from Toronto because you thought the girl of your dreams lived here, and then when you got here, she wasn't real?"

Cue nodding of head.

Shirley: "Oh my gosh, that must have been..."

Swamp Thing: "Heartless, cruel, disturbing, yeah, pick whatever word you want to fill in the blank."

Shirley: "I'm so sorry."

Swamp Thing: ""It's just been" (I'd like to thank the Academy for this award) "Tough... But I'll be fine. Maybe I'll go back to my old girlfriend Stella. With her problems and all."

Shirley: "Problems?"

Swamp Thing: "Yeah, she was kind of...well...different. To say the least. Have you ever dated a schizophrenic before?"

Shirley: "A schizo...?"

Swamp Thing: "Phrenic. Someone with multiple personalities?"

Shirley: "Not that I can recall."

Swamp Thing: "It's a pain taking them out to dinner. You're sitting there talking about what you want to order, and then you hear them have an open debate with themselves about why they don't like the color blue."

Shirley: "I...uh..."

Swamp Thing: "Seriously, one of her personalities was a raging alcoholic, and the other was a devout born-again Christian, and used to yell at herself for hours complaining that her drunk self was breaking her other self's moral code. Do you know how hard it is to break up a fight between two people living in one body?"

Shirley: "Umm...I've...uh..."

Swamp Thing: "It's worse than trying to shut up your conjoined twin. And trust me, I've had plenty of those fights before."

Shirley: "You used to have a..."

Swamp Thing: "Conjoined twin? Yeah, his name was Ronald, and we shared the same liver. And man when that kid started yapping his mouth, he would jab on for hours and hours. I'll admit, it wasn't the worst day when he accidentally got hit by a bus."

Shirley: "Accidentally?"

Swamp Thing: "Yeah, accidentally." I said winking at her.

It was at this point when Shirley put down her razor and dusted me off ready to kick my shaved head out of Great Clips so she wouldn't be the next victim of a conjoined twin murderer living out of a U-Haul who dated a schizophrenic. In her eyes, I was one of the craziest people she had ever trimmed, and the alarm on her face said it all as I signed the receipt.

The best part about this entire story is that none of this is true. Not a single shred. The only lie I told to Shirley today was when she asked where I'm from. I of course told her St. George when in reality I'm from Roy. Who would ever proudly claim Roy? Not this guy. I'm just bored silly on a Tuesday night and thought I would make you wet your pants a little laughing at one of the most elaborate concoctions never to happen.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Here's Your Sign

Moron holding a UPS package: "Bless you. Dang are you sick?"

Swamp Thing: "No, I always wear sweat pants and mucus-coated t-shirts when answering the door at three in the afternoon."

Here's your sign.

For full effect, download "Sick, sick, sick" by Queens of the Stone Age and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I have been as sick as a dog for the past four days, (might I add since when are canines considered eternal carriers of diseases? That phrase is a bit of a segregated classification that if you're a dog, you must be inches from your deathbed, or an unvaccinated surrogate of polio.) Either way, I've been a dog the last few days.

My nose for some reason hasn't stopped running. Again, another stupid phrase. Who thinks up these phrases? Saying that would make one think that the two holed-piece of cartilage strapped to my face is training for a marathon. All I'm saying is that I've had a serious case of wet boogers going on for the past 72 hours.

That made you laugh, didn't it? Wet boogers.

I hate being sick. More than I hate people who don't return shopping carts. All of the aches, pains, congestion associated with it, it can be considered a low-light of my life. One thing I hate the most about being sick is when you're congested so much that you have to breathe out of your mouth instead of your nose. And then you sit there while your mouth dries up and people compare you to a handicapped horse with your jaw hanging open all day. I despise that feeling. And for the past four days people have been thinking that I'm a handicapped horse.

When you're sick, of course there are the morons that ask you the most blatantly obvious questions possible wondering about your current condition.

Moron: "You don't look so good. Are you sick?"

Swamp Thing. "No sneezing eight times and coughing up a handful of wet boogers every ten minutes is just me being as healthy as possible."

There, I said it to make you laugh again, wet boogers.

At times I wish the inside of my body looked like the cartoon world created in the movie "Osmosis Jones". I would feel on top of the world if white blood cells voiced by Chris Rock, and antibiotics like David Hyde Pierce would run down and kill any form of viral illness running inside of me.

But instead, I have to choke down refills of NyQuil and listen to UPS delivery guys ask stupid questions that gave Bill Engvall a career.

I don't know if it's the cold weather, the cough-coated sweater I'm wearing, or the inability of the Utah Jazz to win a home game that is making me feel like a steaming pile of cow dung. But whatever it is, today I feel like a beat up piece of meat that could use another box of tissues to dam up the mucus fountain that's dripping out full blast. Today, I am a handicapped horse.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Shawshank-Rhapsody Rule

John Cusack and a serial killer sometimes inspire the best material for this blog.

Originally I was going to write about how a quick juke by my brother-in-law on the basketball court last night caused me to bite a hole in my tongue, thus causing a swelling sensation equivalent of someone with a mild lisp. But then again there’s not enough material in that to keep you laughing for a good 90 seconds. The best I could come up with was how difficult it is for me to try and say the word thesaurus, but you deserve better.

Back to the serial killer.

In the most recent episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted Mosby creates what is called the Dobler/Dahmer effect, where the affection that someone shows can be interpreted as loving, or lunatic, depending on which perspective you’re looking at it from. Don’t worry now, this isn’t another ridiculous blogpost about a single bachelor’s perspective on the L-word, I only use Ted Mosby’s theory to come up with what I would list as the next directive we all should abide by in our lives:

The Shawshank-Rhapsody rule.

Yesterday while I was driving home from work, a glorious tune began playing on Arrow 103.5, a tune made famous by the hit movie “Wayne’s World”. I assume that you yourself are already assuming that I’m talking about “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which in my humble opinion is one of the five best songs ever written in human history.

Seeing as how I was involved in rush hour traffic, and given the fact that I didn’t care what the fifty-something kitty lover in the Jetta next to me thought, I began singing along with Freddie Mercury, and belting out the lyrics as loud as I could for the entire five minutes and 58 seconds. It was glorious, magical, a rush of 80’s endorphins taking over while I burst out my falsetto and white-collared plump businessmen pointed and laughed from the carpool lane.

But I didn’t care at all.

Later that night, as I was flipping back and forth between “Family Guy” reruns and the Jazz halftime show, I came across a flawless cinema masterpiece on AMC that features Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins as convicts in an upstate Maine prison. That glory of a flick I’m referring to is “The Shawshank Redemption”, and if you haven’t seen it, well shame on you.

I was about midway through the movie, where Andy Dufresne does taxes for the prison guards’ intramural softball team, and I just had to finish watching until the end. There were still another two hours to go, but the same stir of emotions was triggered when Tommy got shot, when Andy walked into the bank, and when Morgan Freeman told the committee to “Stamp your form Sonny Boy, and stop wasting my time.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, that entire show is just beautiful.

After my life was enriched yet again by those two great gifts of media, I came up with what shall be known as the Shawshank-Rhapsody rule, which states:

Item I: If at any time, one is to hear the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, they are not allowed to change the station, and must sing out the verses, chorus, and final stanza as loud as they can, regardless of the occasion, the circumstances, and who is watching.

Item II: If at any time, one is to randomly come across the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” on network, basic cable, or satellite television, they must not change the channel, and must finish watching the movie regardless of any other predetermined shows they were already viewing.

Item III: If anyone does change the radio station, or flip TV channels in the middle of either “Bohemian Rhapsody” and/or “The Shawshank Redemption” they should be cursed with a lifetime serving of single-ply toilet paper and undercooked airline food.

This is a rule that should not be broken, and if it is, well curse be to the uncultured swine who has no respect for two things created in the modern-day renaissance. Obey this rule, and life will be grand.

I was going to say superb, but a kid with a temporary lisp has a hard time typing that.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I received a disturbing text message last night that involved using punctuation marks to symbolize a face that is smiling.

The disturbing part was that I got this text from my Grandma.

For full effect, download "Everybody Hurts" by REM, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Everything about this scenario goes against any existing thread of moral standards and here is why: first, it’s a little unusual to get a text message from your Grandma to begin with, a lady who has just discovered the existence of cellular telephones. Second, anyone who uses an emoticon to express feeling in a text message should be shot on sight, we’re not in second grade anymore. And third, the combination of a text message from your Grandma that has an emoticon, is the worst combination since Tim Tebow and the New York Jets. This is an atrocity that should not happen.

Who in the curse word taught this old lady the witty shortcut of using a colon, a hyphen, and one side of a parentheses as a way to express her excitement via text? I know she didn’t come up with it on her own, I still haven’t been able to explain the concept of Facebook, HDTV, or electronic mail to this lady. She’s just barely grasping on to the idea of sending a typed sentence to her grandkids with this fancy gadget we got her called an iPhone, and you think she’s creative enough to think up an emoticon all by herself? Someone out there needs to be punished for this!

Unknown criminal: “See, watch how I put a semi-colon, a hyphen, and a capital letter P all together without spacing. Can you see how it’s making a winky face that’s got its tongue hanging out on the left side?”

Grandma: “Wait, what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Unknown criminal: “No, see, just turn your head to the left, and look how it kind of makes a face, except the face has been created by the punctuation. See it now?”


No. We won’t.

Because of the vast difference in our age, there are things that neither one of us should do, almost like Ted Mosby’s version of the Murtaugh list. For example, because I’m 27, I should never call and schedule a colonoscopy. And vice versa, because she’s 75, she shouldn’t drink Mt. Dew after 8 pm. An atrocious combination like this is an obvious violation of the generation gap between us. It’s like me wearing flannel pajamas, stirring up a fresh glass of Metamucil while she’s eating an entire Little Caesar’s pizza in one sitting after dying her hair bright pink. It’s just plain wrong.

What scares me the most about all of this is that I can’t help but wonder what is next. Is she going to try assisted living online dating? Will she start creating Spotify playlists of 1940’s polka music? Or what about pinning wrinkle cream and fishbowl haircuts to her board on Pinterest? Heaven forbid she ever start reading this blog, that alone would be a pure disaster. The last time a senior citizen read Randomity, I got unfriended by my Grandpa on Facebook.

That’s right, my best friend unfriended me because he felt that me making fun of Wyoming wasn’t very nice.

You all can see the awkward predicament that I’m facing right? This a blatant defiance of the generational differences that exist between both of us. And as cold-blooded as you all may think that I am, I don’t have the heart to tear down the superficial joy she feels from sending a text with typographically-instilled emotions.

It seems I have now reached the precipice of the social-media blunders of a 75-year old woman. To whomever taught emoticons to my Grandmother, I hate your stinking guts.